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Tue October 20, 2009
MI doctors rally against physicians' tax
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Several hundred doctors rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday against a tax on physicians. A proposed 3% tax on doctors' earnings would draw down three times as much in federal funds for Medicaid.
Doctor Cheryl Gibson Fountain treats Medicaid patients in Detroit. She says many Medicaid doctors don't believe they'll see big boosts in their rates. And she says the tax will discourage doctors from locating in Michigan.
"And that's the real situation," she says. "We are losing people, have been losing people over the past years because of the state of the economy here in our state of Michigan, and why add an additional reason why people would not want to stay and practice here."
Some doctors say they'd support a tax on junk food, or bigger sales or income taxes to fund Medicaid.
A group of emergency room doctors also rallied in support of the physician tax. They say it's a reasonable way to raise more money for the under-funded Medicaid program.