REMEMBER ALL THAT STUFF ABOUT HOW OBAMACARE WOULD RUIN SMALL BUSINESSES? UH, IT’S THE JACKASS REPUBLICAN STATES WHO REFUSED FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICAID EXPANSION WHO ARE ACTUALLY HURTING BUSINESSES: “Jackson Hewitt found that employers in Texas, one state not expanding Medicaid, could be on the hook for up to nearly $400 million in new taxes each year, beginning in 2015. Florida employers could pay as much as $253 million in new taxes, and North Carolina employers as much as $120 million. The cumulative hit to employers in the 25 states could be between $1.03 billion and $1.55 billion, Jackson Hewitt found. Diane Rowland, a Medicaid expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told CNBC.com, "All of us have said there's a cost to not expanding" Medicaid. ‘This is the employer side being able to quantify the effect,’ Rowland said. ‘I think as some of these economic arguments come out, the harder it is for some of these political arguments in states where [Medicaid expansion] is still under consideration’ to hold sway, she said.” (via CNBC)
SO MAYBE WE SHOULD RECONSIDER?: “Sen. Rene Garcia, a Hialeah Republican, has filed legislation that mirrors last year's Senate proposal to use $51 billion federal Medicaid expansion dollars to buy private insurance policies for poor Floridians. That bill had the support of the entire Senate, Gov. Rick Scott and House Democrats. The legislation died in the House, where all but one Republican voted to support a rival plan that rejected the federal dollars. Garcia said via a press release it would be ‘irresponsible’ to leave that money on the table and forgo the new coverages and jobs Medicaid expansion an alternative would provide. ‘The amount of federal dollars available for the state of Florida to increase health coverage is substantial, and Florida would not be the first Republican led state to accept Medicaid expansion,’ Garcia said via a press release announcing that he filed the bill. ‘There are currently eight states led by Republican governors or a majority Republican legislature who have agreed to provide expanded Medicaid to their constituents.’” (via Tampa Bay Times)
NEW KOCHS TASTE A LOT LIKE OLD KOCHS; ALSO, AMWAY BALLS!: “Jackson and Richardville had grown up in the auto town of Monroe, 40 miles south of Detroit. Jackson now headed Michigan's 14,000-member carpenters and millwrights' union, which had endorsed Richardville, a moderate Republican, for 10 of the 12 years he'd served in the state Legislature. ‘Guess where I was last night,’ Richardville said. Jackson wasn't in a guessing mood—and it wasn't just the early hour. Since the election a few weeks earlier, Republicans had been aiming to use the current lame-duck session to ram through a controversial piece of legislation known as right-to-work. Such laws, already on the books in 23 states, outlawed contracts requiring all employees in a unionized workplace to pay dues for union representation. Jackson and other labor leaders were scrambling to head off the bill, widely regarded as a disaster for unions. Richardville, who had once told a hotel conference room filled with union members that right-to-work would pass ‘over my dead body,’ was one of the votes they'd counted on. Richardville said he'd spent the previous evening at a fundraiser in western Michigan. At one point during the event, he was escorted into a private room where a dozen wealthy business moguls were waiting for him. Some he recognized as heavy hitters in Michigan politics; others had flown in from out of state. One of the men in the room glared at Richardville. ‘You gotta grow a set and move this legislation,’ the man said, referring to right-to-work. Had he ever run for office? Richardville asked. The man said no. ‘Well, when you grow a set and give that a try,’ Richardville snapped, ‘then you can talk about the size of my testicles.’” (via Mother Jones)
BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T ALREADY SENSE IT FROM THE IDIOCY AND HATE IN THE AIR, AIN’T NO TEA PARTY LIKE A FLORIDA TEA PARTY: “A study by a liberal advocacy group says Florida leads the nation in tea party members and organizations. The study, done by the Seattle-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights finds Florida, the nation’s third-largest state, edges out the top two, California and Texas, because of the number of tea party members per capita and number of tea party organizations. The study said Florida has 36,423 tea party members compared to California’s 40,508 and Texas’s 39,442. But Florida outranked them in members per capita, and also scored high in the number of tea party organizations, 69. The study found that even though sympathy for the tea party has declined somewhat since last fall’s government shutdown controversy, ‘core membership in the national Tea Party factions remains high, at over half a million people.” The number of tea party supporters, based on social media comments—tweets and Facebook ‘likes’—rose during 2013.” (via Tampa Tribune)
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