Thanks to DiCiccio, Gates and Waring for opposing the Phoenix hospital tax
On behalf of thousands of Phoenix activists, and on behalf of persons who may have to stay at hospitals in the city, AFP-Arizona expresses its thanks to Phoenix City Councilmen Sal DiCiccio, Bill Gates and Jim Waring, who voted yesterday to oppose the city’s new hospital tax. Those votes will be reflected on AFPF-Arizona’s 2012 Local Government Scorecard, to be released in February. (Meanwhile, check out the 2011 Local Government Scorecard.)
According to the ordinance, hospitals are ostensibly not allowed to pass the $130 million-a-year tax on to patients. But anyone who believes that has forgotten the lesson on tax incidence from Economics 101: some portion of a producer tax is always passed on to consumers. The Phoenix hospital tax will further accelerate a process of self-segregation by hospital patients, with non-Medicaid/AHCCCS patients (and their insurance plans) at the margin avoiding hospitals that impose the new tax (and avoiding hospitals in cities that impose the tax). The article also failed to mention that the $540 million in uncompensated care costs is partially offset by disproportionate share funds.