NFIB/Alaska Leadership Council member Tim Agosti penned a guest editorial for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner disagreeing with the newspaper’s view that Gov. Sean Parnell should have taken Uncle Sam’s offer to pay for the expansion of Medicaid.
Highlights from the editorial, which can be read here
in its entirety, include:
- “We cannot continue to pretend the costs of Obamacare do not significantly impact Alaskan workers and businesses.
- “We need only look at the Highway Trust Fund to see what could similarly happen with expanding Medicaid, which Gov. Sean Parnell wisely decided not to do, and for which he has been unfairly criticized by many in the media, including this paper.
- “ … the costs for Medicaid programs are neither free nor minimal. At the end of the day, they are paid for by Alaskans through new and increasing fees that disproportionately impact small businesses.
- “The addition of tens of millions of federal dollars into the state’s operating budget over a five-year period that would have supported Medicaid expansion can seem minor when compared to the overall estimated program cost of more than $3 billion. But that additional money will eventually be paid by taxpayers. So, the governor was right to take a cautious approach on Medicaid expansion, called for under the Affordable Care Act.
- “The costs of Obamacare to businesses in Alaska and around the country are not going unnoticed. In a recent survey of nearly 700 employers, conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 54 percent said the effect of Obamacare on their business was either somewhat negative or very negative. In considering future effects, that negative view increased to 66 percent.
- “The National Federation of Independent Business, Alaska’s voice of small business, recognized the impact of Obamacare provisions on our members even before it became law. Taxes and regulations always fall disproportionately harder on smaller businesses than bigger ones.”