The Legislature's Finance Committee has passed a number of bills to help plug the state's deficit.
One proposal would create a new hospital tax. If approved by the General Assembly, the hospitals would have to pay a 5 and a half percent tax on gross earnings starting this July.
But the Connecticut Hospital Association says the tax couldn't come at a worse time. The CHA says hospitals have already lost millions in the recession due to losses in non operating investment income. And the association says hospitals have been losing money for a decade because the state has under-reimbursed for Medicaid.
"If on top of that is piled a gross revenue tax..it can only exacerbate our alrady challenging situation."
Dan McIntyre is President and Executive Director of Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, a small 100-bed hospital in Torrington.
"We have nowhere to turn to, the commercial insurance companies aren't going to make up the difference anymore."
Under the proposed tax, Charlotte Hungerford would have to pay an estimated $2 million dollars.
The Finance Cmte bill calls for setting aside $20 million dollars to pay back hospitals with large uncompensated care pools. But McIntyre says all that does is pit one hospital against another.
"If all the subtractions and mathematics took place and instead of 20 million to make the "losers" whole it took 80 million dollars, there's going to be a dog fight ove that 20 million dollars, again dividing and conquering the people who have banded together to take care of the sick, it's just wrong"
This isn't the first time hospitals have been taxed. In the 1990s, there was an actual hospital user tax. The Connecticut Hospital Association says back then, money that was supposed to go back to the hospitals ended up in the state's general fund.