After the legislature blocked his Obamacare Medicaid expansion plans in 2014 and 2015, Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) began working with legislative leaders to negotiate some kind of “compromise” to expand the program to more than 100,000 able-bodied adults. Although the deal is being negotiated in secret, some details have been leaked to the public.
According to the few specifics made public, the biggest component of the negotiated framework is to levy a new “assessment” on medical providers in Utah to help pay for the state’s share of expansion. But the so-called assessment is simply a new Obamacare tax on the sick that will not only raise health care costs for all Utahns, but add significantly to the national debt.
Provider Taxes Are Taxes On Everyone
Gov. Herbert says this plan will allow the state to expand Medicaid under Obamacare without the need to “raise taxes” to pay for it. But the proposed provider tax is still a tax – and not just on providers.
Hospitals and other providers won’t pay this tax. Although they may write a check and send it to the state treasury, they won’t bear the burden of a new tax. As Milton Friedman frequently explained: only people can pay taxes. This new Obamacare expansion tax will simply be passed along to Utahns seeking medical care.