Critics call it a "sick tax" - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Critics call it a "sick tax"

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Georgia lawmakers have some tough choices to make as they try to cut spending and increase revenue.

Sonny Perdue's budget proposal includes a new fee.

Hospitals and health insurance plans would have to pay 1.6 percent tax of their total revenues.

The proposal didn't make it far last year, but the budget crisis is even worse now.

Critics call it a "sick tax" that would be passed onto consumers, and hospitals aren't happy about it.

"It's been called a provider tax, a bid tax, any way you look at it it's putting another burden on people who can least afford it and that's people who come to the hospital for care and that really is a hardship on the people in our state," said Cynthia George, Phoebe Putney VP of Governmental Affairs.

Georgia's Health Commissioner told lawmakers the state needs to adopt the proposal.

She says Georgia faces a $506 million gap in Medicaid funding in the coming fiscal year, and the fee could raise $317 million.

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