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CT Hospital Association Mobilizes Against Tax Hikes

February 16, 2017 By Staff
CT Hospital Association Mobilizes Against Tax Hikes

The Connecticut Hospital Association, the state's political and policy voice for hospitals large and small, started a campaign against tax hikes this week.

The Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) is one of the first groups to mobilize – with hard dollars – against a Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) budget proposal.

CHA is out with a new website – NoMoreHospitalTax.org – and a 30-second ad telling Connecticut patients to mobilize against a Malloy proposal that would allow towns and cities to tax hospital property.

“Connecticut’s hospital taxes already cost each patient $650 a year,” CHA says on its site, “But now there is a new proposed tax on hospitals that will cost patients even more. These new taxes jeopardize the lifesaving care you depend on. Join our fight and tell legislators to protect care, don’t tax it.”

The one-page site also has a sign-up page and a 30-second ad that claims Malloy’s changes will lead to cuts in services and longer wait times.

CHA had promised last week that it would mobilize against Malloy’s proposals. Although Malloy’s budget director, Ben Barnes, promises “supplemental payments to hospitals” will outweigh the new potential taxes, CHA claims that arrangement rings hollow. More on why from CT News Junkie:

The proposal is similar to the taxing scheme the state instituted, which the Connecticut Hospital Association is challenging in court.

In 2015, 24 hospitals paid $556.1 million in taxes and received only $164.3 million back from the state.

The hospitals argued that the idea of implementing the “user fee” — which they equate to a tax — was to increase the amount of federal reimbursement the state receives. In the first few years the state returned most of the money to the hospitals, but as the state’s budget situation worsened they proceeded to keep more of the revenue.

CHA is one of the more powerful interest groups in Hartford, so their opposition will certainly weigh on legislators as they consider Malloy’s budget.