The following is a reprint of an e-mail received from ISMS…and felt to be of interested to the membership of the ISP.
CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE INCREASING PHYSICIAN LICENSURE FEES 150%!
Next week the Illinois House of Representatives will vote on Amendment #1 to House Bill 193, which will require physicians to restore money to the Medical Disciplinary Fund that was diverted to pay for other state programs. This diverted money initially came to the state in the form of physician licensure fees that, by law, was to be used solely for the purpose of licensing and disciplining physicians. To make up this diversion, HB 193 will raise initial and renewal fees for physician licenses to $750 for the three year licensure period and sharply raise other physician licensure fees as well.
While ISMS understands the immediate need to restore funds to the Medical Disciplinary Fund to avoid delays in physician licensure, we believe HB 193 is an unacceptable solution. ISMS is supporting alternative legislation, HB 1001, which provides for an immediate appropriation to the Medical Disciplinary Fund of $9.6 million without requiring a physician payback through unreasonably higher fees. HB 1001 does increase physician fees to $500 a licensure cycle to fund future operation of the licensure and discipline process, but does not tax physicians to pay for current shortfalls caused by diversion of funds.
Please call your state representative today at the number below and emphasize the following arguments against HB 193. While urging your legislator to vote “NO” on HB 193, urge him or her to vote “YES” on HB 1001:
- HB 193 is an unfair tax on physicians. It would require physicians to pay much higher fees than is necessary to support an efficient licensure and disciplinary process. In fact, the fee will build a surplus of over $20 million through three licensure cycles and support the process through FY2026.
- Prior sweeps from the Medical Disciplinary Fund – not inadequate licensure fees – is the cause of the current shortfall. Even IDFPR admits the current $300 fee would be sufficient until 2016 had money not been swept from the fund.
- ISMS supports a supplemental appropriation to restore the Medical Disciplinary Fund to financial levels that are sufficient for the administration of medical licensure and discipline – as stated in HB 1001. We strongly oppose any supplemental appropriation requiring a “payback” from future medical licensure fees.
- Licensure fees should be used to regulate the professions from which they are raised and not as rainy day funds to patch unrelated budget holes.
The House is expected to vote on HB 193 within the next two days. Please call your state representative in his or her SPRINGFIELD office and urge them to vote NO.