Douglas Bruce’s response to Rural Republicans tell lawmakers it’s time for action on Hospital Provider Fee

Let’s apply ten conservative political principles to this hospital provider fee situation.

  • 1. Limiting growth of state government requires setting state spending priorities.
  • 2. Allowing any business to fail that has insufficient market demand is called the free market. Government intervention violates the meaning of a free market.
  • 3. What does the most good for the most people–propping up failing businesses or providing broad benefits of limited government services equally to everyone?
  • 4. Who was forced to live in remote rural areas with fewer services? (No one.)

  • 5. What is the federal role in health care and health insurance? (Zero, except vets by contract for services rendered.) The Tenth Amendment says so.
  • 6. What is the proper state role in health care and health insurance) (Zero.) Charity is a noble private impulse; a bureaucracy has no impulse, noble or not, except greed.
  • 7. Who is forcing all hospitals to pay for indigents? (The federal government.) Who is forcing medical costs and insurance to zoom to pay for “free” services? The feds. (The same applies to government schools, by both federal and state decrees.)
  • 8. Why should everyone in the state (country, world) have the same health care (food, insurance, education, vehicles, housing, clothing, vacations, salary, etc.)? Being poor is less desirable than being affluent; that’s an incentive to save and work, which are good social goals. Isn’t “universal” health care” a bizarre phrase? Are taxpayers obligated to pay for equal health care everywhere in the cosmos? Galaxy? Solar system? Earth?
  • 9. Is there anything “fair” about taxing sick people for being sick? About taking matching “federal funds” from Maine and Alabama to repay our budget profligacy, just as they lust for federal funds stolen from Colorado and Utah? What are the carrying charges for the round trip to D.C.? Should the feds subsidize socialism? No.
  • 10. Which promotes individual responsibility–true consumer choice or forced subsidies of less desirable choices, or at least accepting the downsides of rural life? Should farmers have higher taxes to support law enforcement in inner cities? Should ranchers pay for light rail in Denver to reduce I-25 and I-70 congestion?
TABOR is working as intended. It always has, whenever allowed to work.
By the way, TABOR (7)(d) says: “Qualification or disqualification as an enterprise shall change district bases and future year limits.” So TABOR anticipated enterprise scams and says the base for future growth (inflation plus population) at the state level would apply to a smaller fiscal year spending revenue base. That will magnify tax revenue increases as a percentage of a smaller base. See the definition of “district,” which excludes enterprises. The big spenders are still thwarted.
Furthermore, a compulsory “fee” on sick people to benefit the state budget is a tax. It does not pass the laugh test, nor meet the TABOR definition of an enterprise because all the money comes from government extractions, not voluntary customers as with utility customers. TABOR says under 10% can come from state and local governments, and it is roughly 50%.
The JBC is on the right track. The proper and lawful hospital provider “fee” is zero.
Douglas Bruce
TABOR author and advocate

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