AHA unable to get finance provisions into tax bill

The American Hospital Association unsuccessfully lobbied Congress to extend several tax code provisions it considers crucial to hospital capital financing.

"It's essential that America's hospitals can access needed capital in order to improve community healthcare and increase jobs and support the local economy," wrote AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollock to Rep. Sander Levin, a Michigan Democrat who currently chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. "Hospitals will need to borrow capital. Success will depend on having reliable access to debt at reasonable cost, terms and risk," says the letter, according to Healthcare Finance News.

The AHA wanted Congress to extend such programs as Build America Bonds, the $30 million bank qualified debt limit and the federal home loan bank letters of credit. The qualified debt limit allows banks to deduct 80 percent of the costs of buying and carrying tax-exempt debt, so long as the annual issuance is no greater than $30 million. Prior rules put an increase above the previous limit of $10 million.

However, the tax cut extension bill recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama did not include provisions for those programs, notes AHA News.

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the AHA News article

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