Nursing home operators who depend on federal payments to stay afloat say another government program, the national healthcare law, could bankrupt them, The New York Times
reports. At issue is the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance to the workers: Nursing home operators say they can’t afford to comply because Medicare and Medicaid don’t reimburse them enough to cover their workers.
“If I could afford to pay for [insurance], I would,” said Debbie D. Gantz, who runs a facility near Oklahoma City. “We are a small home. We are not part of a chain. We could not provide health insurance to our employees and still be able to pay all our bills and make payroll.”
Nursing homes and at-home elder-care companies could face annual penalties of up to $200,000 if their workers don’t get health plans. The industry is lobbying to have the penalties eliminated, reduced, or permitted as a tax deduction.
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