Massachusetts businesses slam tax to help community hospitals

Seven Massachusetts business groups sent a letter to state legislators July 12 criticizing a proposal that would increase taxes on large providers and insurers in order to help fund community hospitals, according to Commonwealth.

Officials from the Retailers Association of Massachusetts; Associated Industries of Massachusetts; the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans; the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters; the Small Business Service Bureau; the National Federation of Independent Business; and NFP Health sent a letter to lawmakers outlining their opposition to the proposed assessment.

"The practical impact of the assessment on local, not- for-profit carriers is to largely destabilize this sector in favor of legislatively mandated community hospital rate increases—this burdens one important sector in favor of another important sector and does nothing to close the gap between the highest and lowest paid providers, or make for a more competitive marketplace," the authors write.

"The House’s approach to fund approximately 26 community hospitals without regard for their affiliation status with systems, their management, quality of care or patient satisfaction is equally troubling. It will only exacerbate the problems that have plagued us for years, and will do nothing to solve the price variation problem identified in state reports," the authors add.

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