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Senate president says short-term fix needed for Medicaid tax

CONCORD &#-; Senate President Chuck Morse says a short-term fix is needed to address a recent court ruling that the state&#';s tax on hospitals is unconstitutional.Speaking Tuesday at a Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting, the Salem Republican said lawmakers need a long-term solution that potentially phases out the Medicaid Enhancement Tax assessed on hospitals&#'; net in-patient services.The tax raises $185 million annually, with $72 million going into the state&#';s general fund.The court ruled the tax, which was instituted in 1991 but changed in 2011 so the state retained more of the money, violated the federal and state constitution&#';s equal protection provision, because it did not apply to other entities that provide identical or nearly identical services.The committee will meet again in a week after the hospitals, lawmakers, the governor&#';s office and state officials continue to negotiate.