The AHA last week urged the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse an appellate court decision that rejected as unconstitutional the state’s property tax exemption standard for hospitals. “Upholding the appellate court’s decision – and thereby endorsing the unsound principle on which its decision rests – would throw into grave doubt the past and future tax-exempt status of every not-for-profit hospital in Illinois,” AHA said in a friend-of-the-court brief in The Carle Foundation v. The Department of Revenue of the State of Illinois. “Should those hospitals suddenly be unable to claim the property tax exemptions upon which they have relied for years, the resulting financial drain will jeopardize access to care in Illinois. The stakes in this matter are high. All Illinois citizens – but especially those who benefit from government-sponsored health programs like Medicare and Medicaid and those among the uninsured – rely on not-for-profit hospitals to offer quality care to all....[T]he appellate court appears to have wrongly concluded that operation of a not-for-profit hospital is not, in and of itself, a ‘charitable purpose’ sufficient to allow the General Assembly to legislate tax-exempt status for such use....That conclusion is contrary to this court’s precedent and defies the reality of the myriad ways in which Carle and not-for-profit hospitals like it tirelessly serve their communities, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.”