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Categories: From the KCMS Office
Dear Kent County Medical Society Member,
Many of you have been inundated with emails from MSMS concerning legislative updates and requesting you to take action against the proposed physician tax. Please do not become numb to this message.
Your time is valuable. You should have received a fax recently with succinct “talking points” about this tax. KCMS will do its best to minimize duplicate emails. Yet we can’t emphasize enough the importance of having your voice heard. Even if you have never called your legislator or written a letter to a politician before, now is the time to do so. The resources in the attachments make it easy. Read on for more background or stop here and call the senators listed at the end of this message, regarding HB 5386. If you prefer, you can use the MSMS Action Center: http://capwiz.com/msms/state/main/?state=MI
This is a pressing issue. The proposed physician tax was passed by the House and is now in Senate Committee on Health Policy. A vote on this tax could come up anytime before October 20. Although the constitutionality of differentially taxing one class of citizens (physicians) is questionable, our Governor and Speaker of the House are strong proponents of it. Contact your State Senator now while we can still have an influence.
The proposed tax is not solely about your income. It would impact Michigan’s ability to recruit and retain physicians, and therefore, would further limit patients’ access to care. Ultimately, we all endeavor to help people. A physician tax would further limit our ability to do so.
There may be some of you who conclude that the 3% tax on your gross income would be offset by the increased reimbursement by Medicaid. However, the dollar figures being quoted are the result of several assumptions, particularly that the federal matching dollars would continue long-term. In fact, they are based on the federal stimulus plan which ends in the second quarter of 2010. Yet once the precedent of a physician tax has been made, the state budget would likely continue to rely on the revenue, despite a lack of federal matching. In addition, beginning in 2010, there is no provision that prevents the dollars generated by the physician tax from being used for programs other than Medicaid.
If you are too busy, consider designating one physician in your group to speak or write on behalf of the whole group. Alternatively, ask your office manager to advocate for you. In the long run, if this tax passes, you will be even busier as your contribution to the financial subsidy of Medicaid increases.
This is one of those rare times when numbers of phone calls and emails DO GET NOTICED.
Attached for your reference are documents covering Talking Points, the House Fiscal Agency Summary on HB5386 and other information.
Thank you for your time,
|Anita R. Avery, MD||Patrick J. Droste, MD|
|President, KCMS||President Elect, KCMS|
Senators to contact:
Senator Mike Bishop 517.373.2417 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Ron Jelinek 517.373.6960 email@example.com
Senator Thomas George 517.373.0793 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Mark Jansen 517.373.0797 email@example.com
Senator Bill Hardiman 517.373.1801 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Wayne Kuipers 517.373.6920 email@example.com
Senator Roger Kahn 517.373.1760 firstname.lastname@example.org