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Finance Committee Approves A Hospital Tax to Help Plug Deficit
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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.



Shock and concern

I am deeply concerned about a proposed new tax for hospitals.  Last year I was reading that 3 people die every week in the state of Connecticut alone, because they have no health insurance and cannot afford healthcare.  So, with this wonderful tax you are proposing, it looks like that number is going to go up, doesn't it?

I get livid every time I look at the news lately.  We proposed new taxes.  Why not?  People are moving out of Connecticut in droves anyhow, so why not push more people out or into an early grave.  If all of you money grubbing, materialistic people in government would give yourselves a little pay cut so this state could gain some financial ground, maybe Connecticut would stay around a little longer.  I know Governor Rell asked all of her underlings to take a pay cut and they wouldn't.  Why?  "we are living pretty, we don't have to pay for things that "normal" people have to pay for, WE aren't having any problems with finances".   So, we have quite a dilemma here.  Ct used to be the richest state in the country.  Right now I would have to say that it is way below that.  No one can afford to live here and from all the accounts I have heard, there is no financial growth expected for Ct in the future, not just the NEAR future, none at all for the future.  We have pushed all the businesses out of this state and we have forced our young college students who are graduating to look elsewhere for a job because there is no employment in Ct and if there WAS, they can't afford to live here ANYHOW!  So get your heads OUT of you-know-where and DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE!  Stop forcing people OUT of here and do something to attract them TO Connecticut!  Because the way people are moving out of here, in 10 years there won't be anyone LEFT to tax.