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Phoenix health tax ordinance approved

Phoenix has received federal approval of its plan to tax local hospitals and use the resulting revenue to obtain a larger amount of federal dollars for health care provided under the state’s Medicaid program.

The Arizona Republic reports that city officials announced Wednesday the federal approval of the ordinance adopted last December by the City Council.

The ordinance will be imposed on 11 hospitals and is expected to generate about $130 million of revenue, producing about $200 million in federal matching funds to care for uninsured and underinsured patients.

Under the ordinance, hospitals cannot pass the tax along to patients.

Officials said the ordinance will allow 33,000 additional children to enroll in the Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.