Hospital officials turned out at the state capital yesterday to urge lawmakers to reject Governor Dannel Malloy's proposal to allow cities and towns to tax hospitals. Western Connecticut Health Network CEO Dr. John Murphy says eliminating hospital's property tax exemption would impact the care hospitals provide. He says this would close the door that permits access to health care.
Connecticut hospitals collectively pay $556 million in taxes. Murphy says for WCHN, that's $1 million a week in taxes.
Murphy says the state must stop taxing hospitals for the care they provide to patients. He also wants the state to adequately fund Medicaid. Connecticut's Medicaid reimbursement is the lowest in the United States. He says the current rate undermines access to care.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz says he's trying to explore other possibilities to do the same thing as ending the property tax exemption, including new investments in cities and encouraging hospitals to take advantage of all available federal reimbursement opportunities.