Stimulus funds to keep state hospital tax at bay

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Georgia will use more than $1 billion from a federal stimulus package to plug holes in its Medicaid program and save a homeowner tax relief program. The funding also allows the state to avoid placing a 1.6 percent fee on hospital revenues and insurance companies next fiscal year.

But with state revenues now estimated at $1.6 billion less for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Gov. Sonny Perdue proposed a new round of cuts that would include Medicaid providers, spokesman Bert Brantley said.

Mr. Perdue will use $467 million of the stimulus funds to plug holes in a revised fiscal year 2009 budget and $1.1 billion when fiscal year 2010 is added, Mr. Brantley said. That includes closing a projected $208 million deficit in Medicaid and saving the $428 million homeowner tax relief grant program, although that program could have been saved through cuts, he said.

It also means eliminating a proposed 1.6 percent fee on hospital revenues and insurance companies that would have raised $324 million "as of today," Mr. Brantley said. That tax, for example, would have meant a $6 million to $8 million hit to University Hospital, said J. Larry Read, the CEO of University Health Care System.

But the state is casting a gloomy eye on its revenues for next year and proposing cuts to match it.

That means a proposed Medicaid payment cut of about 10 percent to hospitals, about $80 million, and 6 percent to providers, about $68 million, Mr. Brantley said.

Rural hospitals had been hoping for something more, said Jimmy Lewis, the CEO of HomeTown Health, which represents 55 rural hospitals in Georgia.

"The state is going to try to divert as much money as possible into non-Medicaid programs, and as the result of that we've got hospitals that are paid 85.6 percent of costs ... and they get no real benefit out of the stimulus, other than an offset of the (Medicaid) shortfall," he said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 04:26 am
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Is this article some version

Is this article some version of political double speak? Instead of using state tax money, we'll use fed tax money that will save the state from taxing for now but will not prevent the state from taxing in the near future? Isn't this entire article about tax money that will come from the tax payer to cover tax bills? Who cares who handles it first? This article reads like a precursor to "why both sides of the isle decided on universal health care". Just a few decades ago The Beatles recorded a song about the O administration. "...it's one for you nineteen for me, I'm the tax man..." George Orwell had nothing on those guys. This crazy Marxist has got to go!

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 03/04/09 - 07:07 am
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well atleast he's not a

well atleast he's not a racist like you 58 year OLD WHITE MAN, with a pony tail near death = patriciathomas. Do you ever not post, you must be proud to be the chronicles MAIN poster, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. You live in SC and worried about GA.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 07:17 am
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fruit, I see you're still

fruit, I see you're still confused. Good. Never change. We all love you like you are

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/04/09 - 07:31 am
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Yep, it seems everyone

Yep, it seems everyone believes we can keep shifting nonexistent money around and never actually cut spending.

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 03/04/09 - 07:44 am
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And you to, if God don't

And you to, if God don't intervene in your life patriciathomas soon you are going to die in your sins with hate in your heart. At 58 years old you would think you would change, but to stay rooted and almost near death at your age with racist views is going to end you up in hell. Keep thinking the way you do.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/04/09 - 07:46 am
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Reminds me of the pea under

Reminds me of the pea under the shell game. I nearly always pick the wrong shell.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 08:15 am
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see 7:17 post

see 7:17 post

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 03/04/09 - 08:20 am
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And you see my 7:07 and 7:44

And you see my 7:07 and 7:44 post, you are near death at 58 and if you don't get it together soon, you are going to miss the mark patriciathomas.

drumbeater1
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drumbeater1 03/04/09 - 08:54 am
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patriciathomas....[filtered word] ?? ...

patriciathomas....[filtered word] ?? ... you are a man??congrats,had me fooled, now i'll be like crocodile dundee from now on, grab first to be sure.
your beatles reference is interesting, the guys in the band saturday were talking about how we should open second set with "taxman"....and that line you quoted came to mind.i agree this is a surrealistic nightmare that we,as a state and country, do not cut spending ,nor demand accountability.we seem to just hand out money to a select group of people, over and over.i know a woman who recently,(4 mos. ago )had a baby, and is unmarried, doesn't know for sure who the father is, bounces from family member to member for a place to live , hasn't worked in the almost year i've known her, and she gets all the medicaid,food stamps, etc. but does nothing to earn or repay this money , and believe or not, two nights ago she revealed she is pregnant again. unreal,she should be made to go to work somewhere,doing something,and the "benefits "should be contingent on her staying employed.help is help, she's getting a free ride.....period. she's my girlfriends niece, and my girlfriend basically has washed her hands of the situation.can't blame her.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 09:04 am
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drumbeater1, I was a drummer

drumbeater1, I was a drummer when Taxman was on the radio...last century.(left high school in '68) Sorry to hear about your girlfriend's niece. Unfortunately, we all seem to have some of those in our family. We get to pick our friends, but family is part of our package. My subsidy relatives never allow the subject to be brought up if I'm in earshot. (who knew?) This is nothing new though. Some have had to carry the load throughout history. Remember the message of "...my brother's keeper..."? Set the good example and don't accept guilt for something you can't control. All will be well. (The favorite band I was in was the Blues Weed Factory when I was in college)(last century)(Chicago still appeared as CTA)

drumbeater1
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drumbeater1 03/04/09 - 09:34 am
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and grand funk was

and grand funk was still"grand funk railroad"....a play on the actual grand trunk western railroad , who were displeased at all the fuss.....at that tender age i played with some guys who were into stones,cooper,beatles,rare earth, neil young,and we did a smidgen of rythym and blues ,"hold on i'm coming","walk like a man",there's a train a'comin".we were called emanon,which is"" no name" spelled backwards.fort gordon teen town, lumpkin road teen town, and countless one nighters, it was the good ol'days for sure.back on the subject, we tried to convince her to accept responsibility,get on bith control, find the people and agencies that could help her move up and forward, but it's so much easier to stay on the dole, and let others take care of the baby. hell, even i feel sorry for a 4 month old. it's a tragic situation that i fear will get worse...one day there will be reckoning and she will end up losing those children if she doesn't staighten up.

Georgiais1
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Georgiais1 03/04/09 - 09:54 am
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Pt...I think jack fruit

Pt...I think jack fruit admires you..He seems to be from the class envy crowd. Or maybe he is a 58 year old black man????
Why is he wishing death on you? You know libs are supposr to be compassoniate, so I don't understand.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/04/09 - 01:06 pm
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Georgiais#1, I've read fruit

Georgiais#1, I've read fruit for a while now and have never thought understanding was part of his shtick.

jhvenier
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jhvenier 03/04/09 - 02:34 pm
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Regardless of the so-called

Regardless of the so-called stimulus plan, the common "white worker" is in trouble, If you think that all this stimulus is going to do anything for common worker you are plain and simply incorrect. If you want to call me a racist, remember, I didnt say one race or another dererves anything special, you gain what you gain based upon hardwork and doing what you can to make the best of things as you can BUUUUTT!! has anyone seen the take by Robert Reich? Check it out, pull it up on the website, there is a "You Tube" speech, additionally, I find this a slap in the face for anyone that wants any type of equality....Pull up Robert Reich.

Motorman5039
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Motorman5039 03/04/09 - 08:01 pm
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jhvenier: Robert Reich is

jhvenier: Robert Reich is white..Talk to your people....

Motorman5039
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Motorman5039 03/04/09 - 08:03 pm
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Georgia's#0: Carry the

Georgia's#0: Carry the pom-poms for PT today huh??? No need, she is a BIG GIRL, she can fend for herself I'm sure...So do a triple back flip and get outta here!

jhvenier
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jhvenier 03/05/09 - 07:24 am
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Motormouth...No Kidding yuk

Motormouth...No Kidding yuk yuk, I saw the tape. It wasnt aimed at either group, it was aimed at politicians and the way of thinking....you feeling guilty?

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