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ACA Turns Two

March 22nd, 2012 by flanews

Tomorrow marks two years since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, making it the law of the land. State leaders in Florida call it Obamacare and have filed a lawsuit to block the new regulations. As Whitney tells us, they’re also turning down half a billion federal dollars to implement health care changes.

Turning two, the Affordable Care Act has been changing health care and sparking political debate since 2010.

At a cupcakery in Tallahassee a group of ACA supporters celebrated two years of health care changes. But despite those changes, the store’s owner Jean Bates still can’t afford heath insurance for her seven employees.

“Our health care is pretty much get enough sleep, try not to come in here too sick and taking a lot of vitamin C,” said Jean.

US Health and Human Services Regional Director, Anton Gunn, says because of the new law there is a tax credit for business owners like Jean.

”Forty billion dollars has been set aside in the new health care law for small business owners,” said Gunn.

The Act is being phased in. The rebates, free flu shots and new rules on how much insurance companies can spend on lobbying and marketing are in effect now.

There is also billions of dollars available to states to expand Medicaid and Medicare, but here in Florida lawmakers are refusing the money. The budget awaiting the governor’s signature forgoes half a billion federal dollars for health care.

Florida is leading 25 other states in a lawsuit to over turn what opponents call Obamacare. Attorney General Pam Bondi says the mandate that everyone buy insurance is unconstitutional.

“I think it’s so important for the country that we have a resolution and we commend the Supreme Court from getting us in this term,” said Bondi.

The US Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in the heath care case next week. A ruling is expected this summer. By turning down the money, many supporters of the new law fear Florida is being set up for disaster. If the state loses its court battle, Florida could need billions of dollars to catch up with other states already accepting the federal cash.

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