Regarding CT House Bill 5493, phasing out the tax on ambulatory surgical centers.

I am a physician; I am a patient of the ambulatory surgical center in Middletown, as are my family members and neighbors. I was a member of the medical staff of Middlesex Hospital and Health center several years ago when the decision was made to take out of the hospital premises a number of procedures that could be performed [and have been] safely, skillfully and effectively outside the campus and purview of the main hospital.

This while providing a much more satisfying consumer experience, besides enabling patients to get back to participating in their lives much faster because of the fast evolution of the technologies, processes and competencies of the staff providing competent, courteous, caring and compassionate care. The follow-up care is also terrific.

The tax structure ought to be enabling and empowering surgical centers to achieve the Triple Aim in order to bend the rate of increase of the unsustainable per-capita cost of health care — especially since surgical centers deliver the goods that are expected of them to our friends and neighbors:

  1. Improving the patient experience of care (including added value to person’s life and satisfaction);
  2. Improving the health of populations; and
  3. Reducing the per-capita cost of health care.

So please phase out the tax on ambulatory surgical centers.

The tax policy has dis-incentivized manufacturing and business to the great detriment of the people of Connecticut in many different sectors with cruel and pernicious effects including loss of the tax base and equally damaging the attrition and loss of highly skilled and experienced people who made these fast shrinking industries the most enviable in the world.

Since the last year when I was actively engaged in the legislative process during biennial budget session I am increasingly concerned that the tax policy is undercutting the best and brightest sectors of our economy, and regardless of the industry it is hurting the health and well-being of our fellow nutmeggers.

Enough is enough. I believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — meaning we shouldn’t be scrambling for funds to pay for increased health care costs after the fact when our dispirited friends and neighbors all across our state are struggling to keep their heads out of water after our tax policies have driven their jobs and even worse the sector- leading industries [e.g. GE ] out of town.

We cannot allow this horrible fate to befall our vaunted healthcare sector anchored by among the finest medical centers and universities which train arguably the best among the best healthcare staff at every level because of imprudent and plain dumb tax policies. We must stop looking for ways to stick it to the thriving industries in our state and in the process drive them out of town.

Put it simply: We cannot allow our tax addicts to cut of our collective noses to spite our face.

Let us strive collaboratively and purposefully to lift all boats.

Please support this Bill. [HB 5493] Phase out the tax on Ambulatory Surgical Centers

Velandy Manohar, MD, lives in Haddam.

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