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Time for Johns Hopkins to start paying taxes | READER COMMENTARY

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Dome. Sept. 15, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun).
The Johns Hopkins Hospital Dome. Sept. 15, 2020. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun). (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

The news that Johns Hopkins was eliminating health coverage for Baltimore residents while keeping people living in other counties in the Medicare Advantage Program represents “cherry picking” at best and “redlining,” as pointed out by city resident Richard Messick, at worst (”Older adults in Baltimore unexpectedly dropped from private Medicare plan offered by Johns Hopkins,” Oct. 22).

Johns Hopkins has a dizzying array of nonprofit subsidiaries and occupies wide swaths of property in Baltimore with tax-free status. City residents, meanwhile, struggle to pay the highest property taxes in the state. Johns Hopkins blamed the state’s hospital payment model for their exclusion of city residents from their health plan. Sorry Hopkins, that argument does not hold water since you are not closing down the program across the state, just cherry picking the best areas to offer the Medicare Advantage Program.

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A review of tax records for 2019 and 2020, available for non-profits at www.guidestar.org, notably reveals million-dollar salaries for multiple employees. Hopkins is choosing to abandon city residents, yet continue to live “tax free.” So clearly, it is time to tax the Hopkins conglomerate and put that money towards alleviating many of the systemic ills affecting the city. Johns Hopkins, with its public health school, should not abandon city residents, it should invest in the city to improve preventive health care and provide health care for all, not for some, and not for the healthiest some.

Kathy Renaux, Baltimore

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