Connecticut hospitals contributed $21.3 billion to the state and local economies in 2014, according to a new report by the Connecticut Hospital Association. Hospitals in the state provide 55,000 jobs and produce another 53,000 jobs outside the hospital. In addition to generating $10.9 billion in annual local payroll, the hospitals generate $8.8 billion in spending for goods and services and $1.6 billion for capital improvements. “Hospitals continue to play a critical role in preserving, protecting, and improving the lives of all of the people in Connecticut,” said CHA CEO Jennifer Jackson. “They can also be part of the solution to the state’s budget problem. By returning hospital tax funds to the hospitals as the state originally intended, 6,600 jobs would be created, and the state would see a surplus of close to $35 million every year, starting in the first year.” The hospital tax was originally enacted to bring in federal money, but the state began keeping more of the money over time, foregoing the federal match, the report notes.