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Major Healthcare Groups Announce Support for Perry-Sharp Plan

By:
Date:
Location: Austin, TX


Major Healthcare Groups Announce Support for Perry-Sharp Plan

Gov. Rick Perry today announced that 19 major healthcare associations, including the Texas Medical Association, have endorsed the Perry-Sharp property tax relief and school finance plan.

"These organizations represent thousands of Texas doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacists, optometrists, dentists, podiatrists and nurses across the state," Perry said. "And more than that, they speak with an experienced voice on behalf of millions of Texas patients."

Perry has worked with representatives of the Texas medical community to address their unique concerns as healthcare providers, and he said he will work with the legislature to improve his original proposal to address the medical community's concerns.

"Doctors and hospitals often have fixed costs when they treat a patient, especially when government is the payer," Perry said. "Government programs like Medicaid and CHIP do not allow them to recoup all of their expenses. Excluding these forms of revenue will help ensure that those who already incur great costs to care for needy Texans are treated fairly by the state business tax. And just as importantly, our hope is that these reforms will provide an incentive for more physicians to treat patients covered by these government programs."

Perry will ask legislators, as they reform the franchise tax under the Perry-Sharp plan, to allow individual healthcare to exclude 100 percent of reimbursements provided by Medicare, workers compensation, uncompensated care and military insurance programs and 150 percent of reimbursements provided under Medicaid and CHIP when calculating their taxable revenue. Healthcare institutions will be allowed to reduce such liabilities by 50 percent and 75 percent respectively for the same programs. Physicians providing Medicaid services have not received a significant rate increase in 14 years; Medicaid rates were cut in 2003 when there was a $10 billion budget shortfall, and they have not been restored since then.

"This is the kind of forward-looking proposal we always intended to put in the bill," Perry added. "When it comes to taxes, government should always adhere to the Hippocratic Oath: first, do no harm. These new provisions are important so that our tax system doesn't harm the doctors, hospitals and medical institutions that provide life saving care for Texans in need. And when lawmakers vote on this plan, they can be confident that they will not only be safeguarding and improving Texans' healthcare, but growing the Texas job climate, lowering the burden on overtaxed homeowners, and giving schools the reliable revenue they need."

There are now 55 business and civic groups across the state that support the Perry-Sharp plan, including the following health care associations:

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http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/press/pressreleases/PressRelease.2006-04-19.0530

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