NC hospitals start to revolt against NC Chamber
July 10, 2013 1 Comment
The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce claims to speak up on behalf of business interests, but one industry in the State–hospitals–is starting to act on the fact that they view the Chamber as working against their interests during this session of the General Assembly. Carolinas Health Care System and the North Carolina Hospital Association have withdrawn their membership over the Chamber’s support of tax reform that would greatly reduce the value of the sales tax refund the largest hospitals/health systems now receive (small non profit organizations wouldn’t be affected since the refund is capped at a large level).
Other large hospitals and health systems are said to be considering their membership.
The oddest thing about the story above is that it doesn’t mention the real issue for hospitals and what they are really irritated with the Chamber about, which is North Carolina not undertaking the Medicaid expansion that is available under the ACA. The hospitals would go along with this tax reform change (in a second) if the Medicaid expansion was added to the mix.
The NC Chamber of Commerce has not taken a position on the Medicaid expansion, which is surprising given how big of an issue it is for some of their large members (I wrote about this back in February, and noted that the hospitals/health systems were holding their tongue for the time being). They decided other things were more important than the interests of some very large members of theirs, who have now decided it is no longer worth it to be members for that reason.
The hospitals would run back with open arms and have a quick make up if the Chamber could convince the Governor and Republicans to go ahead now with the Medicaid expansion. And on twitter yesterday, the Governor seemed to be starting up what it will take for us to do the Medicaid expansion eventually, him declaring victory for fixing what he has described the broken system, letting us move on to expansion in a face saving way.
I realize it is late in the session for such a change, but a motorcycle safety bill become abortion bill this morning with almost no public notice, so I think the sky’s the limit at this point.