by Tom Jenney
Under Prop 108, it takes a two-thirds majority of the Legislature to raise taxes. But Sen. Worsley voted to allow an unelected bureaucrat at AHCCCS to raise state taxes (mainly hospital bed taxes) by hundreds of millions of dollars per year — without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature!
In their efforts to squeeze the giant hospital bed tax ("provider tax") through a tiny loophole in Prop 108, Governor Brewer and Sen. Worsley are trying to pretend that the provider tax is not a tax — even though it is a TAX under the Social Security Act, which is the controlling statute.
Sen. Worsley is also trying to pretend that the provider tax is not allocated according to formula, although it plainly is. He is trying to pretend that the provider tax does not have a limit, although it is limited by federal law to six percent (and limited to 25 percent of Arizona’s Medicaid contribution).
Finally, Worsley is pretending that he doesn’t know how much money will be raised by the tax, even though he — along with Gov. Brewer, Democratic legislators and other renegade Republicans — has built budgets around the expected revenue.
History shows that removing taxpayer protections inevitably leads to higher taxes. By voting to delegate to an unelected AHCCCS bureaucrat the authority to impose gigantic taxes on hospital patients, Sen. Worsley has voted to kill Prop 108, clearing the way for other departments and agencies to raise taxes in the future without getting approval by legislative supermajorities.
TAKE ACTION: GET YOUR WALKING SHOES READY…
We’ll send out an email soon detailing our plan for the next phase of the ObamaCare Medicaid fight. But the upshot is this: we need you to collect a whole bunch of signatures for a citizen referendum to stop the legislation and put it on the November 2014 ballot. Learn more about that at URAPC.ORG.
For more information about why Arizona should continue to fight the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, go here: Medicaid Expansion: Been There, Done that.