By Michael Carnuccio…
So-called provider fees – more properly called provider taxes – are a shell game. The state levies the tax on hospital revenues. The tax monies are then funneled into a pool that receives matching funds from the federal government through the Medicaid program. That same pool, enriched by the federal matching funds, is then redistributed to hospitals in Oklahoma. Essentially, provider taxes use federal funds to match federal funds and thereby increase the amount of money a state receives from the federal government.
Yes, the government that is broke, like borrow-$1-trillion-per-year broke.
Spend-happy politicians often act as though federal dollars really were free dollars. However, as we know, they’re not.