Pennsylvania's $12.5M tax on ASCs could cause dozens to close, lawmaker says — 5 key points

A proposed tax on Pennsylvania ASCs would hurt patients and the practices themselves, according to Pennsylvania state Rep. Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland, who wrote an op-ed to Central Penn Business Journal.

Five key points:

1. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said his proposed budget asks for "no new taxes," but it does include a tax on ASCs that the governor tried and failed to pass in 2018, Mr. Rothman said.

2. The tax would take $12.5 million from surgery centers, which already pay income, sales and property taxes, unlike Pennsylvania's general hospitals.

3. The tax could render ASCs unable to afford certain equipment and cause up to 25 percent of Pennsylvania's surgery centers to close, according to the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association and a coalition of state medical societies.

4. ASC closures would force patients into higher-cost hospital settings, Mr. Rothman said.

"This ASC tax would be a blow to competition and innovation in healthcare. By tying the invisible hand of the free market in healthcare with burdensome taxes, we get less health and less care," he said.

5. Mr. Rothman called on the House Republican Caucus, Pennsylvania Medical Society and others to challenge the proposed tax, which would affect the commonwealth's 234 Medicare-certified ASCs.

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