One of my goals as a CEO of a hospital is to make care more affordable to ensure many people benefit. Usually, I would support any program that promises to enable more people to get access to quality care. However, as a CEO of a hospital, I also have a responsibility to ensure all money generated in my facility is used wisely. Due to this, I would not support the state’s proposal to introduce a tax on hospitals profits as part of its strategies to raise money to ensure more low-income earning Virginia residents get access to quality healthcare.
As pointed out by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, the government may divert money raised from such a tax to other expenditures not related to healthcare. Doing such would be detrimental to the healthcare sector. However, I would support the association’s proposal to implement the new tax outside of the budget and to include statutory safeguards to ensure money raised from the tax is only spent to bolster struggling hospitals, cater for uncompensated care and pay for graduates in medical programs.
Although the major aim is to expand Medicaid and thus qualify the state for federal funding to support the expansion program, I believe it should be done in a manner that does not disadvantage hospitals in the state. If done in the right way, expansion of Medicaid would benefit the state’s hospitals, as it would make it possible for low-income earners to afford insurance. Doing such would reduce the amount hospitals in the state spend in charity care, which would in turn reduce operating costs for hospitals. Virginia hospitals spend over $1 billion annually in charity care.
In conclusion, I think the proposal to expand Medicaid is humane; therefore, if the state government really wants to tax hospitals to support the expansion program then it should agree to the hospitals’ proposal to do it outside the state budget and to include safeguards to ensure the money raised is spent appropriately. If the state agrees to this, I believe the expansion of Medicaid makes up a fiscally sound strategy to ensure many low-income earners get access to quality healthcare.