November 22, 2014

IT'LL BE REFORMED TO MAKE IT MORE GENEROUS, NOT REPEALED:

How Obamacare Lowers Your Property Taxes (Bruce Japsen, 11/22/14, Forbes)

The Affordable Care Act, which is reducing the number of unpaid hospital bills, is also mitigating the property tax burden for counties and cities that subsidize care for the uninsured at publicly-owned health facilities.

A snapshot of this trend can be seen in Cook County, Illinois, where the public hospital system has seen a decrease in patients who cannot pay their bills thanks to the law's expanded Medicaid health insurance for poor Americans. It means no need for increases in either property taxes or fees for 2015 in Cook County.

"For the first time in the history of our health care system, we have more insured patients than uninsured," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in her annual budget address last month. "Health care system (executives have)  balanced their budget and reduced the county allocation by $11 million."

A large portion of Cook County's budget is for John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, which has in the past been a reason for county boards to raise taxes given mounting bad debt and uncompensated care costs.

The health law has also enabled Cook County to create a health plan known as CountyCare to enroll residents and bring higher quality primary care to the poor. Thanks to better coordinated primary care with the help of a third party administrator, Centene Corp. (CNC), it has helped reduce costs.

Posted by at November 22, 2014 7:53 PM
  

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