Dr. Rhonda Medows, head of the Georgia Department of Community Health, basically told state legislators today that they have to pass the governor's hospital bed tax.
"I cannot find $506 million in cuts to fill that hole. ..." she said. "I simply do not have it in my base to do that. ... Without the new revenue I cannot see how this is going to be accomplished."
It will still be rough sailing for the proposal, though. Republican legislators killed the tax pretty quickly last year and, this year, even Democrats are against it, dubbing it "the sick tax."
It's not entirely clear to me why Democrats are against it, since the tax is supposed to help the poorest hospitals. But I digress.
In the end, tax proposals always come down to winners and losers. And, with this tax, Medows said 39 hospitals would see a net increase in funding if the tax passes, due to their high Medicaid rolls. The top entrant: Grady Hospital in Atlanta, which would get an extra $12 million.
Another 39 facilities would break even, she said. And then 84 facilities that do "little to no Medicaid" business would pay out more than they would receive in return.
Update: You can download the list of all these facilities here.