by Miica Patterson
A national health care organization released a report Thursday, April 4, that more than one-half million Missourians would be eligible for federal tax credits under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Ron Pollack, the executive director of Families USA, said more that 525,000 people in Missouri will be eligible for health care premium tax credits under federal law in January 2014. Families USA is a national organization that advocates for health care consumers.
The federal health care law requires almost everyone to own some type of health care insurance or pay a small fine. The requirement takes full effect in January 2014.
Pollack said the federal tax credits would benefit Missouri citizens with and without health care insurance.
“They also will be eligible for those people who purchased insurance but increasingly are having a difficulty affording that coverage,” Pollack said.
Some lawmakers in Missouri said they were not opposed to the federal tax credits, but they were against the federal health care law in its complete form. Their opposition is mainly against an expansion of Medicaid aimed at covering other poor people.
Rep. Paul Fitzwater, R-Potosi, said he agrees with some parts of the federal health law but is against others, such as the Medicaid expansion requirement. Instead of expanding Medicaid, Fitzwater said state lawmakers could “reform” the system.
Fitzwater said Americans can become too dependent on government funds.
“When you go to the zoo, there’s a sign that says please don’t feed the animals,” Fitzwater said. “There’s a reason, because they keep coming back.”