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Wed October 7, 2009
MI Legislature considers physicians tax
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – A tax on physicians' earnings approved by the state House may have come to a standstill in the Senate. Democrats approved the bill in an effort to fill cuts made to Medicaid in the budget last week.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he does not think his fellow Republican senators would vote for any new taxes. But Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon says he thinks he can find some Republican support.
"I think as those 8% cuts to hospitals and nursing homes are put in place, I think you're going to see a lot of pressure build that we've got to find some solution," he says. "Because if you look at some of the hospitals that are heavy with Medicaid, you know, that tend not to have a lot of surplus cash lying around to survive."
The physicians' tax is one of the new revenue options Democrats have proposed to generate money for programs cut from the budget. Dillon says a tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes, approved by a House committee, needs more discussion before it goes up for a vote in the House.