Americans For Prosperity To Testify Against Hospital Tax.

HB307 seeks to impose “fees” on hospitals and others to….

…be used to obtain federal financial participation for medical assistance payments under Medicaid

Americans For Prosperity is opposed to the bill and will testify against it this week.

This tax will be paid by Georgians who buy their own health insurance, and Georgia’s small businesses. The same bill wants to tax hospitals a “provider fee”- that means insured and self pay patients pay even more for a hospital stay. Americans For Prosperity GA plans to testify in opposition to this new tax at the subcommittee hearing Wednesday afternoon and welcomes your participation- contact AFPGA for details – [email protected].

I’m don’t claim to be an expert on health care and it’s funding but imposing extra fees or taxes on hospitals and by extension patients is not the way to go.

34 comments

      • Lifetime367 says:

        Yeah! that’s right Harry! You’ve nailed it! Blame it on high paid hospital CEOS, especially those that make 7 figure salaries. (Never mind that there probably is no such thing in Georgia)
        I know!!! Let’s reduce their pay to $150K or even $100K!! or no!! wait!!… Let’s give the job of Grady Hospital CEO to somebody right out of college at $50K! That will save lots of money and I’m sure they’ll make lots of decisions that save us taxpayers lots of money. And of course running hospitals is all about capitalism and making or at least saving money!! And it’s easy!! There’s no reason to pay competitive salaries.

        You’re brilliant.

        And no, I do not work for a hospital and I never have. I do however, recognize that they are a critical resource to our state.

        I’m also sick of ridiculously simplistic and sophomoric rants. Be realistic. These are tough times. We need sound reasoning. This “sick tax” that has been proposed is a terrible idea.

        • Icarus says:
          • Lifetime367 says:

            How do any of these posts prove that there are hospital executives in Georgia making 7 or 8 figure salaries?

        • Harry says:

          Lifetime, I realize it’s a sophmoric rant, but this is what we’re reduced too in making arguments in today’s dumbed-down society. The fact, however is that this legislation is driven by the hospital lobby. Yes, they have a problem with unfunded mandates, and they think the middle class patient and/or his employer is the solution to take some of our money to unlock the federal dough. Well, they need to understand that we have no money. Our broken health system is already sucking up 18% of GDP, and if Obamacare is instituted it goes to 23% or more. The hospital lobby has held sway over the legislature for long enough. They have maintained their inefficient and monopolistic Certificate of Need regulations. They have prevented nurse practitioners from writing prescriptions (Georgia being the only state that doesn’t allow this) which means that storefront medical outletss cannot operate economically. But keep on thinking you are a defender of the free market – not.

          • Lifetime367 says:

            Okay. at least you’re no longer just ranting and raving about salaries. You did lose me however with the assertion that the legislation is driven by the hospital lobby. The provider tax was not the idea of the hospitals. They are against it. And I wasn’t being a defender of the free market. I’m encouraging you and others reading this that healthcare cannot be run strictly like a business. I’m as capitalistic as the next guy, and I’m all about personal responsibility, but we cannot deliver health care to only those that can afford it.

            And by the way, that’s why I think they ought to raise the tobacco tax. -prsonal responsibility

          • kyleinatl says:

            Harry,
            There are winners and losers in this hospital tax proposal, I don’t have a complete list in front of me, but hospitals like Grady (who have an overflowing amount of Medicaid patients) will benefit, so obviously they would be supportive of the idea. Sadly, there are more losers than winners in this deal as facilities like Piedmont will see a significant chunk of their bottom line disappear (some hub-bub around the Gold Dome stated that we’d have about 80 hospitals taking a hit with somewhere around 40 or less seeing a net gain). All in all, not a good way for the state to solve its healthcare woes.

          • Harry says:

            These days, most if not hospitals have an overflowing number of welfare patients, so if we ask “qui bono”, probably most all hospitals would benefit from finding ways to have their paying patients pay a “tax” to support more funding for their welfare patients. So yes, I think they’re secretly supporting this legislation. I just think it’s bad policy.

          • kyleinatl says:

            Harry
            I invite you to attend today’s hearing at the Gold Dome…you’ll then quickly see how many hospitals have rallied against this policy.

            We’re in definite agreement that it’s a bad bill.

          • Harry says:

            I was there, and I agree…the hospitals were united and strong in opposing this bill. It’s possible to balance the budget, but not on the backs of hospitals and patients. (hint: put government workers on social security & sunset all defined benefit pension plans – but that would require political courage)

  1. Dave Bearse says:

    Can anyone explain how this bill taxes Georgia small businesses any more than any other business that provides private insurance to its employees?

    Indeed if small small businesses more than other businesses don’t provide insurance, other businesses and not small businesses will be bearing more of this tax burden.

    • Harry says:

      The hospital industry should be lobbying Mexico to send money to pay for their indigent nationals – or take it out of their own salaries. There is no way the middle class taxpayer can pay more for health care than they are already paying.

      • Murry Ford says:

        http://www.modernhealthcare.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100211/NEWS/302119955/1024&rssfeed=rss01#

        Illegal immigrants using our healthcare system are an issue, but not our biggest issue. Our biggest issue is us.

        Illegal immigrants don’t get the care they need for fear of getting caught and deported. They finally go to the emergency room after their conditions are too painful to bare anymore. They often pay their bills to avoid bill collectors and INS attention. Hospital finance guys in Gwinnett Co. will tell you that illegal immigrants pay cash, and often pay well. This is an immigration policy issue, not a healthcare issue…

        You want US healthcare costs to go down? Exercise. Go on a diet. Put down the McDonalds! Heart disease, diabetes, stroke are major money makers for hospitals and insurance companies. Stop having those and you lower our costs.

        I’m more upset about shouldering the financial healthcare burden of the person who refuses doctor’s orders by eating greasy food than I am to shoulder the financial burden of the immigrant who fell from a ladder while painting your house.

        People demand low healthcare costs AND low taxes, but that’s not possible. That’s why Obama’s healthcare bill is NOT going to lower costs and will cost us all more money. It’s simple supply and demand economics. Use more healthcare (get more heart attacks) raise costs. Exercise; get fewer heart attacks, lower costs. The American people (one of the most obese populations in the world) need to take some ownership of the healthcare issue, and some personal responsibility for their own health… But it’s too easy to sit on the couch, watch the evening news and yell at the politicians while scarfing down buttered popcorn.

        • Harry says:

          I agree, indigent Mexican nationals are only a part of the problem and far too many of us are far too obese and otherwise unmindful of our responsibility to be preventive. But, what we’re discussing here is an attempt by the hospital lobby to gouge even more money out of the consumer while maintaining their high salaries. Yes, the problem is us but that doesn’t mean we can afford to maintain this gold plated health delivery system.

          • Murry Ford says:

            The hospital tax is Sonny Purdue’s ‘brilliant’ idea to fund Georgia’s Medicaid shortfall of $608 million. (recession=layoffs=no employer coverage=Medicaid)
            There is no way to even come close to making up the difference by cutting hospital executive pay. They don’t make as much as you think, certainly not as much as industry CEO’s or Wall Street. In many cases, specialized physicians make more… and if you cut physician pay, physicians won’t want to practice medicine. Older family friends who are physicians are leaving their practices at an increasing rate… (we’ll see the fallout from the government’s freezing of Medicare reimbursements in March).

            It may be hard to conceptualize this because the product of the healthcare sector is human health, but hospitals are businesses like any other business. Overtax them and they will pass on costs like every other business. Prevent them from doing this through legislation and the golden dome will have created a healthcare system worse than Mississippi. Sonny should worry about fixing unemployment instead of taxing the hospitals.

  2. John Konop says:

    One major problem is we have lifted the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies and hospitals. And in any industry we have done this the consumer gets screwed ie free market system 101. How is your service and price with your cable company? Long distance bills only went down when we broke up ATT.

    Now we are faced with taxing our way out of a non-competitive industry. And when you have no competition market they will just pass the price onto the consumer ie the nuclear power plants we are paying for?

    The real solution is for the state to use a re-insurance company for catastrophic coverage and self insure like some counties are doing now in the State.

    This would save the state about 20% a year. And we could than design the policy around behavior which could save even more money. For example if you use dial a doctor or a drug store over an emergency room you pay less.

    And if we allowed association for small business to form and buy in pools together they could get the same savings which would help the economy as well as uninsured.

    Why not fix the problem instead of pointing fingers?

    • Harry says:

      John, it’s hard to just fix the problem without pointing out that we’re dealing with a quasi-monopolistic industry driven ever-increasing profitability and at the expense of the consumer, as well as having to deal with heavily-entrenched special interests of all flavors. Unfortunately, it’s not a zero sum game. Real reform is going to require, figuratively speaking, some blood in the streets. You make good points about antitrust, re-insurance, self insurance, buying associations for small business. Why haven’t such things already been done? There’s a reason.

    • Capt. Jack Sparrow says:

      Let’s follow the logic:
      a tobacco tax because tobacco causes more use of Medicaid dollars

      then, obviously, an alcohol tax since alcohol causes people to drive drunk and have accidents, develop illnesses, or cause families to fall apart and this all costs our state money.

      And then, a tax on cellphones. Texting while driving causes too many accidents and that is a drain on the system.

      Oh, and a tax on food. Overeating is rampant in our society. And what about diabetes? All costs our state has to bear.

      And a tax on college football. This causes too many people to be on the roads at the same time. Major transportation costs. Even worse, they might have an accident and go to the hospital and need the state to pay for their medical care.

      And…I think you get the point. Or maybe not. The reason the TEA parties are the most potent political organization is because they reflect where the middle class is. TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY!

      Cut the damn budget and let the chips fall!

  3. kyleinatl says:

    It’s all robbing Peter to pay Paul…why should Grady benefit on the success of say Emory or the Shepherd Center (which is what the end result of this tax is bound to do)?

    The problem is Sonny’s lingering threat of, “if you don’t do this, we’ll just cut Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians”. If you think doctors don’t take Medicaid now, wait till a nice fat 16% is lopped off their rates.

    Horse-racing is sounding real good right now.

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