A legislative proposal that has passed the Georgia House would intertwine hospital finances and individuals’ income tax returns.
House Bill 81, sponsored by Rep. Tom McCall, an Elberton Republican, would allow public hospitals to seize patients’ income tax returns over unpaid medical bills. The debt would have to be at least $25 for the hospital to try to take the patient’s refund.
Former state Rep. Geoff Duncan, a Cumming Republican, opposes the measure, calling it “shocking.’’
In a new GHN Commentary, Duncan, who is running for lieutenant governor, says the legislation “is a blatant attempt by our state government to intervene in the management of Georgians’ health care and their family finances and seize their hard-earned income. Clearly this is not only a power grab but a violation of due process rights under the U.S. Constitution.”