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Is the Ga. Chamber pro-business?


June 07, 2013
Dear Editor:

The Georgia Chamber issued a scorecard a few weeks back giving grades to legislators for votes they perceive as pro-business.

The grades given are those "that the Georgia Chamber believes will directly impact the business community in areas including education and workforce, civil justice reform, business climate, healthcare and economic development."

One particular vote graded was [Senate Bill] 24, or the Hospital Bed Tax issue. A legislator that voted "yes" for S.B. 24 was scored higher than one who voted "no." Problem is, the legislator that voted "no" should be given the higher grade.

The Georgia Constitution gives taxation authority to the House, because it is the closest to the people. S.B. 24 transfers that authority to the Department of Community Health. The legislators that voted yes for S.B. 24 actually radically altered the Georgia Constitution and nullified the peoples' power to levy taxes.

S.B. 24 empowers the Department of Community Health to assess a 1.45 percent to 6 percent tax on sick people in hospital beds. With this tax, they raise a bucket of money enabling them to go hat-in-hand to the government in Washington, D.C., to get an approximate three-to-one Medicaid match, money they don't actually have. This printed money is redistributed back to the hospitals under the guise of providing healthcare to the poor.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As the printed money floods into the healthcare industry, costs go up initiating reimbursement cuts to providers and rationing of care. Providers can no longer afford to see patients in their office, so those patients end up in emergency rooms where the cost is higher.

Fewer poor people get healthcare, but the hospitals get their money to keep the janitors and secretaries in jobs. Simply put, S.B. 24 isn't about healthcare; it's a Medicaid/welfare jobs program. The legislators that voted yes for S.B. 24 should be voted from office.

The Chamber of Commerce is no longer a standalone entity that promotes business. The Chamber of Commerce promotes big government and that actually hurts small businesses and the citizens of this great state.

Bill Evelyn

Georgia citizen

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