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April 9, 2013 > Wieckowski-Bonta charity care bill

Wieckowski-Bonta charity care bill

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

The Assembly Health Committee approved a bill by Assemblymen Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) to create a standard definition of charity care for private non-profit hospitals in California. AB 975 was approved on a 12-7 vote. The bill will now move to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

"AB 975 is an effort to keep California's private, non-profit hospitals accountable," Wieckowski said. "We must be able to ensure transparency so that citizens of our state can see benefits commensurate with the favorable tax treatment given to these hospitals."

In exchange for providing various community benefits, such as charity care, California's private, non-profit hospitals are eligible for certain tax exemptions. However, the community benefits are not uniformly defined or measured. This ambiguity makes it challenging to hold hospitals accountable for the special tax benefits they receive and to determine if they are providing meaningful benefits.

"The problem is that each hospital gets to set its own sticker price and economic value to what they give the community," Wieckowski said.

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