California hospitals are decrying a bill supported by organized labor that threatens to strip tax exemptions from profitable not-for-profit hospitals in the state.
Officials with the California Nurses Association say the proposed law—AB 975—is an attempt to bring more accountability to money-making hospitals that use tax exemptions to turn tidy profits and give hefty salaries to executives. Hospital officials say the law seeks to impose a misguided “one-size-fits-all” approach to community benefits that will punish the most-charitable hospitals and harm programs for the poor by taking away tax exemptions.
The first hearing on the bill is slated for April 2 before the Assembly Health Committee. But the proposal has been amended more than once, and the precise language of the requirements was still in flux late Friday, when the most recent amendment was made. Past versions of the bill would have mandated defined levels of spending on care for the poor and focused intense tax scrutiny on hospitals with operating profit margins of more than 10%.