Sunday, May 09, 2010

Yes Virginia, and Tennessee, it IS a TAX!!

The Tennessee Hospital Association used their very considerable lobbying power and influence to extract $639 million from Taxpayers.

And NOT VOTING FOR IT when you know its going to pass anyway does NOT change ANYTHING. Politics eventually makes liars out of everyone.

The $230 million received from the not-a-tax-or-fee ECA assessment will be used to trigger the receipt of about $439 million or so in federal money, resulting in $639 million or so being paid back to hospitals for treatment of patients by the government.

This will avoid massive cuts in payments to hospitals in the coming year from TennCare. Indeed, some hospitals likely would have to close their doors, based on assessments perhaps more honest than the mincing of words for political expedience that apparently is required these days to act in the overall public interest.

By the way, not only is the $230 million extracted at the state level not a tax, the $439 million extracted from the federal government will not increase the federal deficit, or so it is said.

ECA supporters explained that the money is already appropriated by Congress and therefore available for use. Thus it's not really being spent?

So spending the federal money is not really spending the money because it's already there, or already part of the deficit. And the assessment is not a tax. It is, instead, the miraculous appearance of $639 million into the hands of hospitals taking care of the sick and injured who could not pay the money themselves.