GREENWICH, Conn. -- The Connecticut General Assembly's Greenwich delegation is uniting in support of a bill that would phase out the hospital tax.
State Sen. L. Scott Frantz (R-36) along with Reps. Livvy Floren (R-149), Stephen Walko (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) supported An Act Phasing Out the Hospitals Tax at a public hearing last week, according to a press release. The Finance Committee Public Hearing held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford gave the community an opportunity to testify on the bill concerning elimination of the hospitals tax.
“This tax places unnecessary burdens on our hospitals,” said Frantz in the release. “By repealing the hospitals tax, we can alleviate these burdens and enable hospitals to reduce the costs of health care, improve access to services and retain jobs.”
Floren, a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, agreed.
“Quality health care is a top priority for all of us in Connecticut," Floren said, "and our hospitals are the cornerstone. It is in the best interest of all our citizens to help reduce the onerous financial burdens placed upon hospitals. In reducing their financial burden, they can better service all of those seeking their expert care,” she said.
The Greenwich delegation asked the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, on which Frantz sits as the Ranking Member, to raise the bill at the start of the legislative session after hearing about the many burdens Greenwich Hospital faced due to the hospitals tax, according to the release.
In this fiscal year the estimated net payment from Greenwich Hospital to the state will total $10.6 million, and this payment will only continue to grow unless the tax is eliminated, according to the release. Although the tax was originally intended to collect and redistribute funds, "hospitals are getting back very little in return for paying the state a total of $349.1 million annually," according to the release.
The hearing included supporting testimony from Greenwich Hospital President Frank Corvino and Camillo.
“The hospital industry suffered from last year’s budget cut, which imposed a tax of $336 million on hospitals over the biennium,” Corvino said. “Last year, the combined decrease in funding for YNHHS (Yale New Haven Health System) was nearly $40 million. This year, YNHHS affiliates (including Greenwich Hospital) will share a $52 million reduction. And, in 2015 we will pay over $75 million in taxes. We’ve done extraordinary things to minimize the impact to patient care. But it is very challenging.”