During this past legislative session, a 6 percent gross-receipts tax on ambulatory surgery centers was passed. This tax, the highest in the nation, was imposed without a public hearing and no understanding of its impact on Connecticut’s health care system. Very few states tax such surgery centers, and Rhode Island just repealed its 2 percent tax.
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with state Rep. Jeffrey Berger to discuss the detrimental effects of this tax on our practice and patients. This tax, which will hurt patients in Connecticut, is applied before any expenses are deducted, creating a system of double taxation.
Ambulatory surgery centers are small businesses that pay taxes on income, sales and property. This new tax jeopardizes patient options by putting these surgery centers in our state at risk of closing. Connecticut should be supporting ambulatory surgery centers, especially when their services cost about 50 percent less than hospitals. Annually, ambulatory surgery centers save Medicare $2 billion and Connecticut patients more than $1 million in out-of-pocket expenses for colonoscopies alone.
As chairman of the Finance Committee, Rep. Berger’s leadership on repealing the tax will be critical this session. I hope that he and his colleagues consider these issues carefully.
Thomas Rockoff, M.D., Cheshire