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The Georgia Hospital Association will no longer oppose a controversial hospital "bed tax" proposed by the Gov. Sonny Perdue, a group spokesman said today.

"We're working out numbers, we're working out all kinds of stipulations to the new system, but that's what direction we're heading in right now," said Kevin Bloye, spokesman for the hospital association.

As originally proposed in Gov. Sonny Perdue's recommended fiscal year 2011 budget, a 1.6 percent hospital fee would collect $345 million in state funds - $247 million from hospitals.

The Georgia Hospital Association strongly criticized the fee plan, saying it would adversely affect too many hospitals in the state, and even force some into closure.

Last week Gov. Perdue announced revised budget recommendations that removed the hospital fee, but instead would have reduced Medicaid payment rates to hospitals and doctors by 10.25 percent and removed the sales tax exemption for some nonprofit hospitals.

For complete details see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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