Friday, February 09, 2007

Raise Cost of Health Care to Lower Cost of Health Care

Only Kafka could make this up...but then, we have DarthDoyle (D-Babykillers).

In his Tuesday budget message, Gov. Jim Doyle is expected to propose a tax on hospitals.

Although details of Doyle's proposal aren't known, Illinois levies its 2.5% hospital tax on gross revenue. If Wisconsin did likewise, a 2% tax could raise about $225 million from hospitals, since the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported total revenue of $11.2 billion in 2004.

Stone inanity? The Feds (of course) are partially responsible.

A new tax on Wisconsin hospital revenue would bring in more federal aid for this reason: The federal government pays 57 cents out of every $1 that Wisconsin spends on Medicaid; state government pays 43 cents. So, if revenue from a hospital tax is used to boost state Medicaid spending, the federal government would pay the state much more than it does now.

For more complex (and asinine) ideas, there IS the Wisconsin school-aid formula.

"If hospitals are taxed in this state, there's no question those taxes are going to be passed on to patients in our hospitals," Borgerding [Wisconsin Hospital Ass'n] said.


Experience should be instructive to Darth. Let's hope he reads this:

Jennifer Jackson, chief executive officer of the Connecticut Hospital Association, said that state eliminated its hospital tax in 2003 - after nearly a decade - after a lawsuit from the hospital group.

Such programs look appealing the first year because of the revenue potential, she said, but it's hard to keep the original program and reimbursement rates in later years, as federal rules change and the money is diverted to other programs.

Darth could put the money into schools, I suppose.

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