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Westerman files insurance penalty bill

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 10, 2014 at 12:36 p.m.

Two Arkansas legislators say they want to shield businesses from federal penalties if their operations don't fully comply with the nation's health-care law.

House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, introduced a bill Monday that would grant a state tax credit to businesses that don't comply with certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act. Republican state Sen. Bart Hester of Cave Springs co-sponsored the measure.

The Legislature opened its 2014 session Monday. A key issue is whether to continue a plan to use federal dollars to provide insurance for poor people. Business groups say if the "private option" doesn't continue, some companies will be forced to pay federal penalties for failing to provide insurance.

Under Westerman's bill, the state would grant a tax credit to businesses to cover federal penalties.

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HotSpringsLawyer says... February 10, 2014 at 2:59 p.m.

Am I missing something? They want to turn down federal money AND use state money to pay resulting federal penalties? AND take away tens of thousands of people's new insurance? Brilliant!

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