NH News
12:35 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

House, Senate Sign Off On Medicaid Enhancement Tax Deal

House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on a Medicaid Enhancement Tax deal.

Sen. Bob Odell (R-Lempster) speaking in support of a bill to change the Medicaid enhancement tax. The measure passed on a voice vote.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Lawmakers voted 278-72 in favor of the deal that settles a lawsuit with 25 New Hampshire hospitals.

The Senate later passed it on a voice vote, and it now heads to Governor Maggie Hassan’s desk.

Hassan and legislative leaders announced the settlement last week, with St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua the lone holdout.

Republican Representative David Hess of Hooksett says he may not be completely happy with the result, but the deal is better than nothing.

“Our lawyers negotiated in good faith, the state representatives acted in good faith, they think they get the best deal for us that they could get. I am not going to second guess them.”

Following lawsuits from hospitals over the tax, two Superior Court judges ruled it was unconstitutional.

The deal means hospitals will get more money for care they provide for free or reduced rates, so-called uncompensated care.

The tax rate also would drop from 5.5 percent assessed on net patient revenues to 5.45 percent in 2016 and to 5.4 percent in 2017.

The tax brought in about $185 million this year and was used for Medicaid and other state spending.