Hospital Hubris

A new talking point for the Medicaid-expanders/ObamaCare-implementers, is the heavy cost being borne by local hospital districts. The argument goes like this: Local taxpayers are paying a lot of money providing free health care for local indigent and poor, therefore we need the state taxpayers to pick up the tab or to get the money from the federal taxpayers.


Hospitals are hoping for a left turn into the taxpayers' wallets.
You probably already get the joke: the taxpayers stay on the hook, the same taxpayers even. It’s just a question of which pocket you’re paying out of, and how transparent the bill is.

Let’s start with the obvious: local officials willfully sold the public on creating hospitals districts to provide a service about which they are now complaining. Think about that. Local officials are using the cost of providing indigent care, which they strenuously advocated, as a pretext to expand ObamaCare.

We should treat suspiciously any claim of concern for the local taxpayer. In fact, given hospital districts’ (and hospitals generally) insatiable desire for access to taxpayer dollars, you can expect to see those local hospital district taxes going up anyway.

This is why the rent-seeking local public hospital districts are pushing so hard for Medicaid expansion. They will keep jacking up your local property taxes in the name of providing access to care, while pocketing more money from the federal government funneled through the state.

Of course, in the interest of intellectual honesty it bears noting that any money provided by the federal government comes from either higher income taxes or your grandchildren’s credit card.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans, and its premier project, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capital Hill staffer, think tank vice president and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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