NASHVILLE – The Senate took final action today on a one-year extension of 4.52 percent “assessment” on hospitals, sending the bill to Gov. Bill Haslam, who is expected to sign the measure.
Senators voted 30-0 on the measure, which passed the House last week.
It will raise $450 million and bring an additional $842 million in federal matching funds for the state’s TennCare program.
Lawmakers and hospitals insist the measure, first implemented three years, is not a tax because hospitals sought the legislation to avoid draconian cut to TennCare.
Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, said the bill has kept one of the five community hospitals in his district from closing.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has said he would like to do away with such revenue-raising bills for Medicaid, although he took advantage of them himself in the mid-1990s when he was state finance commissioner.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...