Grover Norquist’s verdict: ‘Bed tax’ solution a ‘step in wrong direction’

Last October, Grover Norquist, president of the D.C.-based anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, warned state lawmakers not to renew the state’s “hospital bed tax” passed in 2010 to plug a hole in the state Medicaid budget. The tax/fee expires on June 30.

Today, in a statement obtained by my AJC colleague Greg Bluestein, a spokesman for Norquist doesn’t like Gov. Nathan Deal’s effort, unveiled today, to shift the burden of raising the cash from the Legislature to the state Department of Community Health. From Josh Culling, the ATR’s state government affairs manager:

”Gov. Deal’s decision to shift taxing authority from the legislature to the Department of Community Health does nothing to improve the hospital bed tax. Instead, it is a step in the wrong direction, attempting to absolve the governor and legislature of any potential blame for the looming tax increase.

“The hospital bed tax remains a job-killing tax hike that will increase the cost of health care for Georgians and drive up the national debt. Thankfully, many Georgia legislators have taken a stand against the bed tax; Americans for Tax Reform applauds their resolve in the face of silly gimmicks on behalf of tax-and-spend special interests.”

This is why Deal is pushing for an early resolution. Faster is better, in the eyes of the governor.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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16 comments Add your comment

Rabbit

January 14th, 2013
9:40 pm

I will relish the day when Grover (not the sesame st version) can’t get print or camera coverage. He has no good will toward the USA.

Kris

January 14th, 2013
9:57 pm

Crooked deal….a tax is a tax…no matter who levies it…Double dipping the Affordable Health care act, but not being a part of it for the citizens…2014 we need a new Governor (term used loosely).

Toes The Line

January 14th, 2013
9:58 pm

What part of GA is that numbskull from? If N/A, shut the hell up

Deep Cover

January 14th, 2013
9:58 pm

Has uncle Grover come up with a solution? It is easy to say NO to any taxes, but Medicaid still needs to be paid. When will Grover learn that NO MEDICAID for ANYONE is NOT a solution?

Lars

January 14th, 2013
10:11 pm

And Grover is interested in Georgia because…. why? And all you good Christian gentlemen, remember the part where Jesus says “I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

hiram

January 14th, 2013
10:12 pm

If Deal didn’t swap 10s’ of millions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money for airline tickets and a few thousand in campaign contributions, Georgian’s wouldn’t have to bear this burden.

Kris

January 14th, 2013
10:33 pm

Lars “”"And Grover is interested in Georgia because…”"

Interested in Georgia or does he have the dirt on dirty Deal?

Both grovie and shady natie are bad for Ga and America…

2014 we need a new Governor (term used loosely) or start a recall on shady Today!

Buzzy

January 15th, 2013
12:32 am

Grover can kma. I remember when Rove was the great guru of the Right. The Republican Party is bankrupt of ideas.

ris

January 15th, 2013
1:11 am

Let’s see…The largest national debt in history, with no budget in sight…more Americans on food stamps and welfare, ever…the largest tax increase to hit the middle class in decades…Now Crooked shady Deal WANTS TO CONTINUE THE Hospital bed tax on the poor and Middle Class…..2014 we need a new Governor (term used loosely) or start a recall on shady Today!

SouthernGal

January 15th, 2013
4:43 am

Why do taxpayers have to contribute to a new stadium? Let the Falcons take the risk!

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 15th, 2013
6:40 am

There are some real reports to be had on this subject -

District 28 state Sen. Mike Crane, R-Newnan, commented on the bed tax legislation at length.

“I’m glad the previous Legislature put a sunset clause on the bed tax,” Crane said. “Sunset clauses are very important in that they require us to revisit this tax and open debate on its merits and impacts.

“First, I believe the government needs to improve how we control costs and manage for unpredictability in the revenue stream before we implement new taxes,” he said. “Much of the impending shortfall in the Medicaid sector could have been absorbed by the projected revenue increases we’ve seen this year. Instead, those dollars are committed elsewhere.

Money quote -

“Second, we have to find ways to control the rising cost of health care rather than continue to fuel the cost increases with more tax dollars. We need to put the consumer back in the driver’s seat when it comes to health care. Consumer dollars are the most efficient dollars in the market place. They’re selective, informed and frugal, which leads to a competitive and efficient market. Such a market provides for the best allocation of resources, drives innovation and lowers cost. Tax dollars tend to have the opposite effect on the marketplace.

“It’s a very important issue, and I need to have the most information possible before casting a vote for Georgians,” Crane said. “I’m still researching the best options for our citizens. Renewing the bed tax is just another Band Aid on a much more serious problem. It’s time we did the hard work and find the answers. My goal is to find those answers.”

Bravo.

DeborahinAthens

January 15th, 2013
7:00 am

How typical of our do nothing “representatives” to shift the revenue raising to a none elected entity. When will all of these bozos learn that it is their job, they were elected to get the bills, for which they are responsible, paid for. This means taxing the citizens. Ain’t no way around it. To have them shift the revenue raising to something else is shameless.

Middle of the Road

January 15th, 2013
7:08 am

The “bed tax” is a stupid way to raise money for the State’s Medicaid bill. It is clear that the hospitals are not the ones paying the tax out of their profits (or else they would not support it). This is a pass-through tax that the people who go to the hospital are paying. Why should those who pay for hospital care (including YOUR insurance) be stuck with the bill for those who are seen on Medicaid? If we, as a society, think that we should provide free medical care for the poor (an idea I do not disagree with) then we ALL need to be paying for that through our STATE INCOME TAX, not some crazy “bed tax”.

Edmund Ruffin

January 15th, 2013
7:14 am

A third party agency should not have the power to tax. The gov. and General Assembly are shirking their responsibilites. They need to be looking at some ways to lower or eliminate some spending and taxes.

[...] the statement, obtained by my AJC news-side colleagues. I’ve put the seemingly unobjectionable part in bold-face: [...]

ANGRY AS HELL

January 15th, 2013
4:43 pm

Any US House member, US Senator or member of the Georgia Senate or House of Representatives who takes Grover’s “oath” needs to be fired. The only oath they need to be accountable for is the one that says they’ll support and defend the US and Georgia Constitutions and that they won’t steal from us. Grover can go back to doing his open-mic comedy gigs.