October 21, 2013

Albert: Extra tax money no reason to favor hospital sale

Republican City Council hopeful Jim Albert sent this along in response to a Press editorial about the possibility of collecting more tax revenue if Bristol Hospital is sold to a for-profit company:

I disagree that the sale or merger of Bristol Hospital with another healthcare organization, non-profit or for-profit, should center around potential tax payments to the City.  As everyone in healthcare knows, and as most citizens of Bristol and our region hope, the future status of Bristol Hospital should center around patient care and population health, not about taxes.  Any potential added tax revenues gained by converting Bristol  Hospital to a for-profit organization may very well be reduced by portions of the organization remaining in a non-taxable status, or by reductions in employees, or by a loss of certain services, or by a reduction in hospital philanthropic donations, or by increased legal fees, or by any of a dozens other factors and repercussions of such a merger and change of status.  We should NOT be concerned, at this stage, with counting new tax dollars and deciding where they will be spent – as the recent article in the Opinions section of the Bristol Press entitled “An Add to Bristol’s Coffers?” would suggest.  Instead, I trust that Marie O’Brien, Kurt Barwis and the Board of Directors of the hospital will decide the future of our community hospital based on what is best for the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Bristol and our surrounding towns who use and rely on this longstanding quality institution.  We should not be dazzled or swayed in any great degree by potential tax revenues.  These are not guaranteed and are not what this acquisition is about.

Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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