FL WON’T IMPLEMENT OPTIONAL PORTIONS OF OBAMACARE

By Dr. Rich Swier – Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida will join other states in opting out of Medicaid expansion and state-run exchanges.

If  the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not repealed before January 1, 2014, Florida will implement and comply with the required sections of the act.

After reviewing the impact of the Supreme Court ruling that gave Florida the flexibility to legally opt out of implementing one of the costliest provisions of the ACA, commonly known as “ObamaCare,” Governor Rick Scott has decided two major provisions in the law are inconsistent with his mission to grow jobs for Floridians, make sure there is adequate funding for education, and to keep the cost of living as low as possible.

The Affordable Care Act does not require states to take any action before the 2012 general election, and the full law does not take effect until January 1, 2014, provided it is not repealed before that date. Governor Scott, like other state governors, has made it clear that even though Florida will opt out of implementing two major, yet optional, provisions, should there be any legal obligation to implement ObamaCare, the state will follow the law.

Florida will opt out of spending approximately $1.9 billion more taxpayer dollars required to implement a massive entitlement expansion of the Medicaid program. A second provision in ACA gives Governor Scott the flexibility to opt out of building insurance “exchanges.”

“Floridians are interested in jobs and economic growth, a quality education for their children, and keeping the cost of living low,” Governor Scott said. “Neither of these major provisions in ObamaCare will achieve those goals, and since Florida is legally allowed to opt out, that’s the right decision for our citizens.”

Florida already has health care safety net programs for those with the greatest need, including assistance for families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty line, and Florida KidCare to ensure no child goes without health care in Florida.

But even though the federal government has promised to initially pay 100% of the increase in Medicaid payments for the first three years of ObamaCare, the burden increasingly shifts to Florida taxpayers in future years. Medicaid, which has been growing for years at three-and-a-half times as fast as Florida’s general revenue, will soon grow even faster under ObamaCare, and education funding will be adversely impaired if we do not control the growth in Medicaid spending.

Another provision in ACA gives Governor Scott the flexibility to opt out of building insurance “exchanges” that will result in higher insurance premium costs – more money out of the pockets of Florida’s families and businesses. The Congressional Budget Office has said that insurance premiums available on state exchanges will rise another 10-13% under the rules of ObamaCare. In states already operating insurance exchanges set up under similar rules, health care premiums are substantially more expensive.

“The real problem with health care is that costs continue to rise. That’s why I believe we need more choice for patients, more free-market competition, increased accountability for providers, and incentives for personal responsibility,” said Governor Scott. “These are the things we can do that will hold down health care costs and make it affordable for more people. Unfortunately, ObamaCare doesn’t do any of those things. In Florida, we are focused on becoming the number one place for businesses so that Floridians have more jobs.”

Bend Over Florida Your Federal Taxes going up $3,669

tax burden

Everyone has been talking about the impact of the Bush tax cuts expiring on January 1, 2013. The Heritage Foundation has a new website that shows the average individual tax increase by state. Floridians will experience an average increase in federal income taxes of $3,669. The interactive map of average tax increases by state may be found here.

Heritage’s Morning Bell notes President Obama told an Ohio crowd on June 14th, “I’ve said that this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and I believe it.” Indeed it is—because in a sluggish economy, American taxpayers are about to be clobbered by the largest tax increase in history.

According to Heritage:

“Starting January 1, 2013, Americans will face a $494 billion tax increase, the highest ever in one year. According to The Washington Post, congressional aides started calling it “Taxmageddon”—a chilling reference fit for an apocalyptic nightmare. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has warned that it will be a ‘massive fiscal cliff’ for the economy.”

Heritage research shows that families will see an average tax increase of $4,138. Baby boomers’ average increase will be $4,223, and low-income taxpayers can expect a $1,207 increase. Millennials will be hit with an average hike of $1,099, and retirees $857. Check out the infographic to see where you fall.

Taxmageddon falls primarily on middle- and low-income Americans. That’s because, contrary to the President’s rhetoric about “the wealthiest Americans,” 60 percent of the Bush tax cuts went to middle- and low-income taxpayers. The expiration of the patch on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will cause these taxpayers to pay a tax that was never supposed to hit them, and the expiration of the payroll tax cut is a tax hike almost exclusively on middle- and low-income families.

This is only the direct impact on individual taxpayers. Americans at all income levels will feel the pain of Taxmageddon, because it will slow job creation and wage growth. At 8.2 percent unemployment, it’s the last thing the economy needs.

Where are these tax increases coming from? Under current law, tax policies in seven different categories will expire, and just five of the 18 new tax hikes from Obamacare will begin.

About a third of Taxmageddon’s increase comes from the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. These cuts are best known for reducing marginal income tax rates, but they also reduced the marriage penalty, increased the Child Tax Credit and the adoption credit, and increased tax breaks for education costs and dependent care costs.

What is the President doing to prevent this? Congress and President Obama have developed a penchant for waiting until the very last minute to act on pressing tax legislation. In 2010, they waited until late December to extend the expiring Bush tax cuts for two years. At the end of 2011, they waited again until late December to extend the expiring payroll tax holiday. This is a bad habit.

The threat of Taxmageddon is clouding jobs and family finances now. Businesses, families, and investors are uncertain about the future. They need to know as soon as possible that this massive tax increase will not hit them on New Year’s Day 2013.

But yesterday, Obama told the crowd he was their economic savior: “I have approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.” He also warned that Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class, adding, “This is not spin. This is not my opinion. These are facts.”

The fact is that during his first three years in office, the Obama Administration unleashed 106 new major regulations that increased regulatory burdens by more than $46 billion annually, five times the amount imposed by the George W. Bush Administration during its first three years. Hundreds more costly new regulations are in the pipeline, many of which stem from the Dodd–Frank financial regulation and Obamacare. Conveniently, of course, many of Obamacare’s main provisions—including tax increases—don’t kick in until 2014.