Letters to the Editor

June 17, 2014

AB 503 is good for communities

Re "California nurses association plays hardball" (Viewpoints, June 17): Bruce Maiman seems to have let his dislike of the California Nurses Association cloud his understanding of an important bill with broad support, AB 503.

Multibillion dollar hospital chains get huge tax breaks by incorporating as not-for-profits, operating to benefit the community. Last year, The Greenlining Institute conducted a study and found that sketchy reporting requirements leave us largely in the dark about the community benefit activities that are supposed to earn that tax break.

For example, if a hospital gets a federal research grant, it is allowed to count those grant dollars as a community benefit expenditure- even though it's the taxpayers' money they're spending.

AB 503 increases transparency, respects the individual needs of communities and hospitals and promotes public health programs. It ensures that hospital chains truly earn their generous tax breaks.

-- Carla Saporta, Berkeley

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