A new study by the Texas Hospital Association shows that Texas employers are paying the bill for Gov. Rick Perry's refusal to expand the Medicaid program as part of the Affordable Care Act, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  The study, conducted by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service says employers will be subject to tax penalties of as much as $400 million dollars.


  The reason...Obamacare calls for up to $3,000 per employee penalties for employers who don't provide insurance coverage for their workers, and they require a subsidy from the government in order to buy coverage on the Obamacare exchange.  That penalty is waived if the workers are accepted by Medicaid, which is the state program to provide health care for low income individuals.


  The study shows that many Texans in this category would in fact be eligible for Medicaid under enhances eligibility requirements which have been allowed in other states.


  Perry says Medicaid is a 'failing system,' and adding more people to the program would be like 'extending the passenger list on the Titanic.'


  "A Texas solution to ensuring coverage through Medicaid impacts not only hospitals and patients but also employers who have a major stake in the wellness of their employees," said John Hawkins of the Texas Hospital Association.  "Developing solutions for the arduous task of improving access to health care coverage will continue to affect all aspects of the state's economy, including higher health insurance premiums for businesses and their employees.


  The THA has a major interest in this issue, because Texas Hospitals provide more than $5 billion in uncompensated care annually due to the state's high rate of uninsured.