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A recent article in Investor’s Business Daily points out that religious hospitals will greatly suffer under Obamacare since no good deed goes unpunished under the healthcare act. It’s crazy. If a charitable hospital treats a homeless person who staggers into the emergency room without insurance, the hospital may be punished with taxes and fines.
Like I said, it’s crazy because in order to maintain their tax-exempt status they're required to treat a minimum number of patients who can't pay, yet Obamacare requires everyone to have health coverage. If everyone is paying, then the hospitals are penalized.
A provision in Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code that takes effect under Obamacare sets new standards of review and installs potential financial penalties if hospitals don't conform to IRS standards of when and how much charitable work can be performed.
Therefore, hospitals that help the poor and the indigent will be penalized for offering their services.
Religious groups, especially Catholic orders, opened many of these facilities as charitable institutions. The IRS originally granted tax-exempt status to institutions that provided a "community benefit," defined as spending 3% of operating revenue to take care of patients who couldn't pay. This benefitted the hospitals as well as the community, for if you counted all the sales, property and income taxes that nonprofit hospitals currently avoid paying, it would total $20 billion.
Failure to complete a community health needs assessment in any applicable three-year period results in a penalty on the organization of up to $50,000, according to a report by Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation.
This is Obama’s America for change, after all. Charity was outlawed in the USSR. It will be outlawed in America if we keep going in this direction.