Press Release from the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus, Jan. 22, 2014
Democrats: ‘It’s time for Gov. Haslam to unveil his plan’ for Medicaid
NASHVILLE – If Tennessee doesn’t expand its Medicaid program, small businesses will face a tax penalty of up to $72 million in 2015, according to a new study from tax giant Jackson Hewitt.
“Expanding Medicaid has always been critical for working people without access to health care,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney. “What this study shows is that expansion is also critical to our small businesses. It’s time for Gov. Haslam to unveil his plan.”
The $72 million in tax penalties will result from a provision of the Affordable Care Act that penalizes employers for each employee who earns less than 138 percent of the poverty level and buys insurance on the exchange, called the “shared responsibility rule.”
“Medicaid expansion is important on so many levels,” said Rep. Craig Fitzhugh. “It’s important for our rural jobs, it’s important for our people and now we see that it’s important to our small businesses. I am involved in a small business, so I know the challenges they face every day. The last thing we need right now is to be subject to a new tax just because Gov. Haslam hasn’t moved forward with a plan to pass Medicaid expansion.”
Governor Bill Haslam has indicated that his administration is continuing talks with the Department of Health and Human Services for a hybrid “Tennessee Plan” for expansion, but details have not been forthcoming.
The complete study is available here.