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Top 22 Reasons the Hospital Tax is a Bad Idea

Reason #1

There are no real controls on how the money is spent. Without constitutionally enacted and mandated controls, even if the “board” promises to spend money on research (the proposal already has much of the money going for non-research), sharp lawyers and amendments to the law can change the direction and flow of money to other uses and pet projects. See also #2, #4, #5, #6, #7, #15 and #21.

Reason #2

It’s a Shell Game. There are no real controls on where the money is spent. The proposal doesn’t even guarantee how much money will actually be spent on true “in the lab” research! They could divert, siphon off or substitute as much as they want to other projects. All they need is a rubber stamp from the “over site board”. See also #4, #5, #19, and #21 as the money can actually be used outside Jackson County, it’s a shell game.

Reason #3

It’s a Reckless Attempt to Pull a fast one! Legislation that will cost the taxpayers $800 Million should be thought out and drafted carefully over the course of months if not years. This proposal is being drafted over the course of days! This will be the one of the largest - perhaps the largest tax hike in the history of Jackson County. But they didn’t tell anyone about it until less than a month before the “okay” to get it on the ballot. Once approved for the ballot, it will be voted upon barely 2 months later. Then it will be the only measure on the ballot. Add to that, special interest groups are armed with over a Million Dollars to swamp the media. They are moving quickly and in secret. It is a safe bet that some people and/or entities are going to make millions of dollars, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars, and you are footing the bill. Their trip to the bank, your tax dollars.

Reason #4

Bait and Switch. It’s really a funding bill for the hospitals.Most of the money will be given to the hospitals where they can then, with a rubber stamp, direct the spending of the money, and for non research purposes.

Reason #5

It’s more of a Shell Game! The funding is indirect funding for a hospital and health care in another county! Money goes to St. Luke’s, but St. Luke’s has a hospital in Platte County – St. Luke’s Northland. So money that currently sits at St. Luke’s can be redirected to the Northland Hospital and the Jackson Taxpayer money replace the money that was diverted to the Northland. It’s a fungible commodity. In other words Jackson County taxes are funding Platte County Medical Care!

Reason #6

Jackson County is Funding Johnson County Health Care. Worse than #3 and #4, but the same shell game. In this case the funding is actually, also, indirect funding for a hospital and health care in another State - Kansas! The majority of the money goes to Children’s Hospital, but Children’s Hospital has a hospital in Kansas, specifically Johnson County Kansas. So money that currently sits at Children’s Hospital in Jackson County can be redirected to the Johnson County, Kansas, and the Jackson Taxpayer replace the “moved to Kansas” money. It’s a fungible commodity. In other words Jackson County taxes are funding Johnson County Medical Care. St. Luke’s also has a Johnson County, Kansas facility. So the “Big Two” recipients of the Jackson County taxes are going to be able to move more money to Johnson County, Kansas.

Reason #7

Millions are unaccounted for already! Where did all the money go? They initially said they would hire 9 researchers. If you assume $1 million or even $2 million will be paid for these 9 people and their staff, and that’s higher than most everywhere in the nation, that leaves $38 million a year unaccounted for. So, where did the other 38 million dollars go?

Reason #8

The proposal is false hope. This is the most sinful of all. The tax, even if it were all used for research (which is clear will not happen) it is not enough to find cures for incurable diseases. It would likely take closer to $500, 0000,000.00 annually to find significant cures for incurable diseases. The $40 million amount is not even close to enough. See #10.

Reason #9

Jackson County could get hit will a double tax. Jackson County be double taxed to the tune of almost 2 Billion Dollars. That’s right, 2 with a B, $2 Billion. The lawyers drafting this proposal know that a state wide sales tax has been considered for 2016 and if it passes Jackson County would then be double taxed. That is another reason they making a grab for the brass ring now. Another state wide sales tax could be on the way! And Jackson County would be at the mercy of the rest of the state of Missouri, for passage or failure. Can Jackson County afford a $2 Billion dollar tax hike?

Reason #10

A statewide sales tax would really find the cures! A statewide sales tax would generate between $400 Million to $800 Million per year (depending on the amount of the tax), that’s approaching upwards of 1 Billion dollars a year once you add private donations. If the whole state pitched in, we really could find cures for incurable diseases. A “drop in the bucket” from the Jackson County tax proposal, on the other hand, is just false hope. A statewide tax is real hope.

Reason #11

The bill is so simple and so vague that it invites hospital defense lawyers to find loopholes, make backroom deals that will be difficult if not impossible to challenge or undo, and divert money for other purposes.

Reason #12

This proposal unfairly saddles Jackson County with the tax burden. A statewide sales tax is more fair, in fact the only fair way to do this. Why should Jackson County alone carry the burden for the whole state?

Reason #13

A large portion of the tax is merely a funding mechanism for the University of Missouri Medical School – a great medical school without any doubt. But they call it the University of Missouri for a reason. Not the University of Jackson County. Why is Jackson County being asked to fund something that here-to-for the entire state funded. It’s not like St. Louis is proposing a sales tax to fund the University of Missouri St. Louis Medical School, nor is Boone County passing a tax to fund The University of Missouri Columbia Medical School. This Jackson County Sales Tax is a bizarre way to fund a University of Missouri school that is rightfully funded by the entire state of Missouri. If this were proposed as a 1/8 cent sales tax for UMKC Med School, that would be a different story, and maybe well worth it. But that is not the case.

Reason #14

It’s an irrational greedy bill. If not enough that they want $800 Million, when the bill was proposed they had not even drafted the legislation. All they knew was a ½ cent sales tax would generate $800 Million over 20 years and “Cures for Kids” grabs at the heart strings. Although they had not drafted the legislation, they had figured out one part, how to split the money. Most to Children’s Hospital followed by St. Luke’s, then the UMKC med school. They were not even prepared to present the legislation, because they had not drafted it, until a week before the approval needed to get it on the ballot. That is not just reckless, that is insane. $800 Million for a law that was drafted in course of a couple of weeks, and then only a days to review it before it goes on the ballot. Insane!

Reason #15

Taxes for Religious Business. Some people are okay with tax dollars going to religious based organizations, specifically the Episcopal Church, so this will not apply to them. But others believe tax dollars should not go to a church based business. If you “peel the onion” you eventually find that St. Luke’s is run by the Episcopal Church (Over site by the Episcopal Dioceses). So your tax dollars are going to fund a Church based business.

Reason #16

The taxes can end up going to a yet unknown and unwelcome entity; it can become an irreversible quagmire. For example, and in a vein similar to #14, St. Luke’s sister hospital in Houston Texas was sold to the Catholic Church. That entity is known for refusing contraception to their employees, and in some cases even refusing life saving emergency D and Cs because they consider them “abortions”. (Concerns mounting about Catholic acquisition of St. Luke's: “It took 11 months for Catholic Health Initiatives to emerge as the winning bidder for the St. Luke's Episcopal Health System. It took just days for concerns to begin mounting about the effect church doctrine is likely to have on patient care...” View the full story: (link - http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Concerns-mounting-about-Catholic-acquisition-of-4469559.php).)

Reason #17

This is socialized medicine. Some people are okay with socialized medicine, so this may not apply to them. But clearly, and make no bones about it, your tax dollars are going to fund hospitals and their doctors, buildings, landscaping, etc.

Reason #18

It's bad socialized medicine. They are taking your tax dollars to fund their hospitals, but not guaranteeing one single patient any care. Only the idea that “maybe” there will be some care at some indefinite time in the unknown future if they make profits.

Reason #19

This isn’t just bad socialized medicine, it’s the worst. Your tax dollars are being used to subsidize the profitable medical industry. The medical industry is making a fortune, especially these two health care systems. Aren’t they making enough money? Now they want your tax dollars too!

Your tax dollars are subsidizing profitable (“earnings” - they are “non-profits” that are “earning/making” an astronomical amount each year) hospitals. These are “profitable/positive-earnings” successful hospitals that are constantly expanding. In fact, if they want your tax dollars to help them make more money, tell them you want to see their earnings statements. Ask them to make public their (1) form 990 and 990-T for the past 5 years, (2) balance sheets for the past 5 years, (3) income statements for the past 5 years, and (4) any audited financial statements, including notes and attachments for the past 5 years.

What are they hiding? For so called “non-profits”, these 4 documents are equivalent to their profit statements. Make them give up these documents and you can see that these hospitals are already making hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. Combine #18 with #16 and #17 and this is the worst type of socialized medicine in the world!

Reason #20

Jackson County tax dollars will provide funding for a hospital that serves not only Johnson County, Kansas, but half the state of Missouri. Children’s Mercy is a receiving hospital (tertiary care) for approximately half the state of Missouri. So Jackson County tax dollars will be providing/supporting a hospital that services half of Missouri. Again, if there is going to be a sales tax, it should be fair and not grossly over burden Jackson County, it should be state wide.

Reason #21

You pay the taxes, they keep the profits! That is not fair. If profits are made from the “institute” and the hospitals, the proposal says that they get to keep the profits and dole out some care as they see fit.

Reason #22

Funding for Colleges in other Counties and Kansas. Per the proposal, some (whatever that means) of the money will go to “community colleges”. Again, some of these colleges have branches in other counties and even other states. Jackson County tax dollars will indirectly, if not directly (much of the money is fungible), be funding community colleges in other counties and even other states.

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