Case Against Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment for Not for Profit Hospitals
Not for profit hospitals are important to the welfare and health of millions of American citizens. They constitute a significant part of our economy. Hospitals operating under this form of business are exempted from the federal taxation in case they pass operational and organizational tests including complying with community benefit standards. (Rubin, Singh and Jacobson 612-616).
A good number of individuals and groups especially policymakers have constantly questioned the adequacy of the community benefits which not for profit health organizations offer in exchange for these tax exemptions. In this paper, I am going to review The Task Force For Global Health, one of the local and international not for profit healthcare organization that strives to improve health of individuals who’re in most need. This review is meant to answer the question as to whether or not these hospitals should be exempted from federal taxes.
The Task Force For Global Health was founded in 1984 by former Director of CDC and pioneer of global health, Dr. William Foege and his two former colleagues Bill Watson and Carol Walters. At first, the organization was named as The Task Force for Child Survival.
Through the leadership of Dr. William Foege, the organization managed to bring on board The Rockefeller Foundation, World Bank Group, WHO, The United Nations Development Program and UNICEF to raise the rates of childhood immunizations (Foege 23-56). The mission of this organization is to address large-scale health issues affecting vulnerable individuals across the globe and to form a sustainable health system which will protect and promote healthcare. Its vision is to have a world which is free from debilitating diseases where all individuals are served by efficient public health systems.
The Task Force For Global Health is managed by the Office of the President and seven-member executive group. The seven-member group includes Chief Operating Officer, Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Developments and Communications Officer, Director of Business Strategy, and Head of Health Systems Strengthening Sector (Foege 23-56). In relation to charity care offered, the organization has contributed a lot to the community. The contributions include;
- Strengthening the United States preparedness to react to disease outbreaks by directing the automation of the public health laboratories
- Developing a complete integrated plan for prevention of cholera and control which is being employed to fight the disease worldwide
- Supporting the implementation and design of strong systems of immunization within the United States public health departments
- Raising the rates of childhood immunization in developing economies from 20% to 80% by 1990
Based on the above assessment especially in relation to mission, vision, and contributions to the society, I am of the opinion that charitable/not for profit health organizations should be exempted from federal taxes. Health is a complex function. We cannot entirely depend on the federal government to provide comprehensive care up to the community level.
With these health organizations, we can be relatively sure that a good number of individual healthcare needs will be catered for. The policymakers, nevertheless, should ensure that the community benefits provided by these institutions coincide with the tax exemptions.
With the help of Internal Revenue Services, there is need to redesign the tax form for charitable hospitals so as to ensure that the reporting does not only capture monetary benefits saved as a result of their services but also the health outcomes in relations to the services rendered. (Rubin, Singh and Young 545-557). This will help to achieve more benefit for the community.
Foege, William H. The Task Force For Child Survival. 1st ed. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018, 2018. Print.
Rubin, Daniel B., Simone R. Singh, and Gary J. Young. “Tax-Exempt Hospitals And Community Benefit: New Directions In Policy And Practice.” Annual Review of Public Health 36.1 (2015): 545-557. Web.
Rubin, Daniel B., Simone Rauscher Singh, and Peter D. Jacobson. “Evaluating Hospitals’ Provision Of Community Benefit: An Argument For An Outcome-Based Approach To Nonprofit Hospital Tax Exemption.” American Journal of Public Health 103.4 (2013): 612-616. Web. 25 Aug. 2018.