Opinion: Tax exemptions for nonprofit hospitals: It’s time taxpayers get their money’s worth

Many U.S. hospitals provide charity care to financially disadvantaged patients without the expectation of getting paid for their services. Nonprofit hospitals receive a sizable tax exemption — estimated at almost $25 billion in 2015 (using 2011 data) and likely much larger now — that is largely intended to subsidize the costs of this charity care.

But the relationship between providing charity care and obtaining a tax exemption is far from direct, and many nonprofit hospitals do not provide enough charity care to justify their exemptions.

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