Federal law and hospital staff agreements require physicians to provide care to patients in emergency settings regardless of ability to pay. Texas physicians deliver more than $2 billion per year in a hidden tax via free charity care. No other profession is required by law to give away its products or services for free.
Medicaid and CHIP payments to Texas physicians cover less than half the cost of providing care. The average Texas physician provides more than $72,000 per year in undercompensated care to Medicaid and CHIP patients (much more in some specialties, in rural Texas, and along the Mexico border). Tax increases add to the cost of caring for these patients, and force more physicians to limit participation in these government programs.
Texas physicians pay their fair share in business and personal taxes. They also pay such additional state taxes as an inflated licensing fee, a professional fee, an Office of Patient Protection fee, and additional license surcharges imposed over the years by the legislature. These fees are in addition to the sales taxes physicians pay on the supplies and equipment they use to care for patients, and the property taxes they pay on all business property and equipment they use for patient care.
Texas should not place additional taxes on caring for the sick.