Speaker says health care a session priority
by Bill Barrow, Associated Press Writer
January 10, 2013 10:30 AM | 257 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

ATLANTA (AP) — House Speaker David Ralston is turning up the heat as state lawmakers consider whether to extend a high-profile hospital industry tax that generates more than $600 million for state health care spending.

In an interview Thursday, the Blue Ridge Republican did not explicitly endorse the details of a proposal from the hospital industry to tweak but continue the tax on net patient revenue. It expires this year.

However, Ralston endorsed the concept, and says lawmakers should not be swayed by political pressure from groups threatening to campaign against legislators for raising taxes. The General Assembly convenes Monday for its annual session.

The financing scheme uses the hospital money to secure federal support for Medicaid. Ralston says without that arrangement, several hospitals in Georgia would have to close.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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