4-7-16 – UVM Wants to play Santa Claus with its Overcharges

by John McClaughry

The legislature is busily working to increase the employer assessment tax by $6 million a year. That’s the tax employers are made to pay even if they provide good health insurance to all their Vermont full time employees – but not for some who are covered by their spouse’s plans, or work in other states, or just work part time.

Tom Pelham of Campaign for Vermont zeroed in on a simple way to avoid increasing the employer assessment for Vermont small businesses. Take the excess revenue back from UVM Medical center and use it to fend off tax increases.

UVM Medical Center reports that it brought in $29 million dollars above budget in net patient revenue. Give it back to the State, for supplying all that Medicaid coverage to all the people who used to be free care or bad debts? Not at all! Medical Center President Dr. John Brumsted has a better idea – at least for UVM: Let the Medical Center distribute the $29 million around on various worthy projects of its own choosing – affordable housing, “free” mental health services, and the cost of joining Gov. Shumlin’s All Payer Accountable Care Organization.

In effect, Brumsted is saying “we realize that we need to unload this surplus somewhere, but we want to choose where for our benefit, and we surely don’t want to return it to the state to head off new taxes on small business.”

That argument sure doesn’t sell me.

John McClaughry is the founder and vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

ray thomas April 11, 2016 at 12:11 am

Return every cent to the vt tax payers and figure out a system so that future monies are automatically returned.


jim bulmer April 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Hey folks, 29Million bucks is not chump cange and it should be used to reduce taxes and NOT be passed around by a well meaning idiot!! Dumb question, why was the forcasting process so out of kilter that there was such a huge surplus???????


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