Women pay 'pink tax' in health care
“Nearly half of American hospitals are non-profits, a status that affords them an incredible benefit: exemption from federal, state, and local taxation,” the report explains. “In return for the tax benefits, the federal government requires those hospitals to operate for the public benefit by providing a set of community benefits, which includes ensuring low-income individuals receive medical care for free or at significantly reduced rates — a practice known as ‘charity care.'”
According to Sanders' report, nonprofit hospitals spent only an estimated $16 billion on charity care in 2020, or about 57 percent of the value of their tax breaks. Out of 16 major nonprofit hospital chains that each take in more than $3 billion in revenue annually, 12 of the 16 dedicated less than two percent of their total revenue to charity care. Of those 12, six dedicated less than one percent.
Sanders wrote in the report that "hospitals have gladly accepted the tax benefits that come with non-profit status but have failed to provide the required community benefits." He called on Congress and the IRS to hold nonprofit hospitals accountable for providing “accessible health care in their communities," and to establish “enforceable standards” for hospital financial assistance programs.
"Nonprofit hospitals could play a significant role in delivering necessary care to Americans while also satisfying their charity care obligations," it states. "Instead, these hospitals continue to hoard their resources to the detriment of the patients they claim to be committed to serving."
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