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Michigan businesses may pay the price if the state does not expand its Medicaid program

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Expanding state Medicaid programs is part of the new national health care law.

Many Republican state lawmakers say it will cost Michigan taxpayers over a billion dollars during the next decade. But there’s a cost to large Michigan businesses if they don’t.

“Actually, taxes could go up on employers in states that don’t expand Medicaid,” says Brian Hale, the senior vice president for health policy at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, “You need to factor that in to the decision about whether or not to expand Medicaid.”

Hale says, in states that don’t expand Medicaid, more people will qualify for a federal tax credit. But large businesses in that state may pay federal tax penalties.

In the 22 states that have opposed or remain undecided about expanding Medicaid, Jackson Hewitt predicts employer shared responsibility costs could total $876 million to $1.3 billion each year. Hale says in Michigan those penalties could add up to more than $81 million a year.

Governor Snyder supports expanding Medicaid to cover nearly a half million more Michiganders.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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