The end may be near for an onerous tax launched with the stated intention to add a two-percent charge onto the fees of medical services providers. Instead, the added cost is passed through to the patients whom the professionals are treating, levying an added burden onto suffering Minnesotans. The so-called Provider Tax was enacted by legislation in 2011. It’s scheduled to end on January 1, 2020, according to an online Minnesota House Research white paper, and at least one Minnesotan is calling for the tax to lapse without renewal.
”You can call things what you like”, but that (title) is misleading, said John Phelan, an economist with the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative Minnesota think tank.
“This is a tax on health care consumers… a two-percent tax on doctor visits.
“It’s a tax borne by health care consumers…sick people. It taxes Minnesotans when they become sick…it’s iniquitous, really,” Phelan said.
According to the white paper, the taxes “apply to the gross revenues derived from ‘patient services’ which include most services provided to patients, such as diagnostic and therapeutic services, and bed and board,”
The Provider Tax adds costs to a broad range of health delivery entities. The paper lists: “health care providers including licensed health care professionals such as physicians, dentists, nurses, psychologists, physical therapists, and chiropractors. It also taxes unlicensed individuals providing services reimbursed under Minnesota’s Medicaid program, staff model health plan companies (an HMO where services are provided by employees); ambulance services, opticians, and sellers of hearing aids; hospitals, surgical centers and wholesale drug distributors.”
Items exempted include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, exams for insurance, employment or litigation, some mental health services and hospice care, according to the white paper.
Phelan urged legislators to stop taxing sick Minnesotans by allowing the Provider Tax to end.