TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Yet Another Telco Tax Proposed

Re: Yet Another Telco Tax Proposed

Tony Pelliccio (
22 Oct 2004 09:07:09 -0700

Danny Burstein <> wrote in message

> In the continuing tradition of government that try to offload taxes
> onto third parties (that way they're not "raising taxes", you see ...)

> California has a very real problem with medical costs. The hospitals
> and other medical providers provide services, but don't take in
> anywhere near as much money as they claim to be expending.

> Hospital and medical finances are such a huge mess they put Enron to
> shame. Normally this isn't a telecom issue but ...

> The telco point: The usual folk have pushed forward a fee on telco
> services to cover the shortfall. Quoting from a VOA clip:

> "A voter initiative that Doctor Higgins calls a "Band-Aid" could
> provide a short-term fix, and he supports the measure. Appearing
> on the November 2nd ballot as Proposition 67, it would raise 500
> million dollars a year by adding a three-percent surcharge to the
> cost for telephone calls made in California.

> To which the curmodgeons retort:
> "It's the wrong solution for a real problem. This is a phone tax.
> This is a tax on a service that has absolutely nothing to do with
> emergency medical care whatsoever.

It does have some relation. People use the telephone to call the
emergency services which then deliver them to the hospital.

But I think too many other taxes have been loaded onto phone bills in
recent years. In essence it is nickle and diming us to death.

Now my medical system rant. There are several reasons why medical
services have gotten so expensive and they have to do with supply and
demand. Many more people seek medical attention now than they did
years ago, but infrastructure improves glacially and so cannot keep

The other part of my rant is insurance and billing companies. They
just add two more layers of fees to medical services, one cut for the
insurer and another for the billing company.

Dismantle that mess and we might see costs come down.

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