February 11, 2009

Wheaton-Franciscan stands to gain from state budget fix bill

Wheaton-Franciscan Health Care stands to gain $41 million a year under a partial budget fix announced by Gov. Jim Doyle on Wednesday.

Racine's local hospital would see an increase in its Medicaid reimbursement rate under the plan, according to State Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine. Ironically, the increase in federal dollars would come from assessing hospital revenues to bring in $78.5 million.

But the increase in Medicaid payments more than offsets the hospital assessments, Mason said, commenting: "The hospitals are big winners in this."

Doyle's proposal is part of a plan that would chop an estimated $167 million off of the state's projected $593 million deficit this year. The rest of the deficit will have to be made up in the next state budget, Mason said.

Doyle's plan cuts state spending $125 million, increases business taxes and requires a sales tax on all online purchases.

The increase in business taxes comes from closing a tax loophole that allows businesses to operate in Wisconsin but claim residency in states with lower tax rates. The governor's plan closes this loophole, Mason said. It's expected to increase state revenue $27.7 million.

"It's something that's been annoying people for a long time," he said.

The sales tax on online purchases is considered an equity issue. If you have to pay sales tax on something bought in a store, why wouldn't you pay taxes on something bought from Amazon? The change is expected to raise $9.4 million.

State Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, said Doyle's proposal unfairly raised taxes in the current recession.

“Though predictable - given the tone of Governor Doyle’s State of the State Address last
month – it’s still unfathomable to me that Governor Doyle could possibly consider
raising taxes on families and small businesses in the middle of the deepest recession of
the post-war era," he said, adding: "I certainly cannot support more Doyle tax increases that only add to a problem he has spent the last six years creating.”

Mason also noted Doyle's budget fix may create jobs in Racine. There's $1 million for worker training at technical colleges, tax incentives for business investments and no cuts that will benefit the potentially lucrative I-94 reconstruction project through Racine County.

Mason said the state needed to address lost jobs now, instead of waiting until a new budget is passed in July.

"The question is how do we get people back to work now?" Mason said.


  1. Translation: Those of us who bust our butts day in and day out, 50-60 hours a week to make ends meet should just bend over, grab our ankles, and smoke a nice cigarette when the pounding is done. I'm begining to realize that it may in fact be cheaper and easier to go on welfare/aid. 100% of my hospital bills would then be paid. I'll just find a cash job on the side as well. This state is a rag.

  2. Note Medicaid is tax money too Dustin. Anyway you look at it we tax payers are getting the shaft
    To Mason want jobs? cut taxes! Want to see jobs go out of Racine raise taxes raise the Min wage

  3. I highly doubt jobs that pay minimum wage will leave Racine. I know plenty of people who own franchises and they admit they will just raise prices. So be it. I see no problem in raising the minimum wage.

  4. Robin, Just raise the price of your popcorn and clam up. I own a business too and am not complaining. It's been a long time coming. Most state from what I can see have had this tax in place for several years.

  5. Mason knows nothing about job creation. He's never held any type of position that was responsible for creating jobs. He's a career politician playing with other peoples money. He thinks its governments right to siphon off money from business to do all its social experiments with. Unfortunately he never has to explain why Wisconsin under performs year after year in job creation, even during a good economy. That's right. He's from the Lehman crowd who believes that the taxes aren't too high.

  6. Just more evidence that government is taking over the private economy. Thank you Mr. Mason, you have now sanctioned government to take more money out of my families budget and put it into state government. So Mr. Mason, tell us how much in taxes, hidden and otherwise should one have to pay. I already have to work for three months just for big government. Why don't you cut state government by 1/3 and lives within your means. Mr. Mason, you are a socialist. Your kind could never make it in the private sector.

  7. None of this surprises me coming from Lehman and Mason. These are the guys who are supporting Robert Turner for mayor in the upcoming election, even though Turner is going to try and keep both seats and have us THE TAXPAYERS pay his salary for both seats, pad his pension, and receive NOTHING in return. The same as it's always been with him. Lehman and Mason this this is ok. I say it's time to end this crap before it begins. RECALL BAB TURNER NOW, before he even has a chance to be elected mayor. Recal them all.

  8. Let's be realistic here.

    Once the Racine citizens see who is in the race for Mayor, there will be town hall meetings, screenings, the like. Turner will flunk out with the general public. He will be lucky to keep his seat in Madison much less dream of a DOUBLE PENSION mayoral bid.

    Should Mason and Lehman, who I feel are decent legislators, go and endorse Turner for Mayor, they immediately alienate thousands of citizens in their district. No one likes public employees, politicians these days and they detest someone like Turner who thinks he can snort up two pensions and insurance benefits.

    Should he attempt to go through with his lust for the mayoral position, he will quickly see that the electorate are not going to tolerate this and thus put his seat in Madison in jeopardy.

    Should Mason and Lehman go ahead and endorse Turner, they lose me as a contributor both in money and in support.

  9. Seriously, when is the Journal Times going to ask Bob Turner about this keeping both jobs thing? The local unions are ALL in the tank for Turner - what does that tell you?

  10. That hospital assessment plan is a sham. Tax a hospital $1.00 (who will pay for this??), and they get $1.42 back from Medicaid.
    If a regular business did this it would be called a ponzi scheme or a violation of RICO.
    Why do we let politicians do this? Because we all want our pork. We all want our share of the massive amount of money controlled by the "state".