Our UUCLC Social Justice and Environment (SJE) Committee wants UU members to be informed about the potential loss of a major source of local funding for indigent health care. Florida Representative Anthony Sabatini has convinced the Chair of the North Lake County Hospital District Board to eliminate the funding by setting the tax millage at zero. A public hearing on the millage rate will be held on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. in the County Commission Chambers in the Round Administrative Building in Tavares. Here is some background information:
· In 2016, 59% of voters in the Hospital District voted to continue the taxing district for another 10 years. The tax can be no higher than one dollar per year on every $1,000 in real estate value, minus exemptions.
· Hospital District funds pay for emergency care, hospitalizations, primary care, dental care, and mental health and drug abuse treatment. Services are provided through six community clinics and three not-for-profit hospitals — Advent Waterman, Leesburg Regional, and Life Stream. Annually, these funds provide over 12,000 patient encounters. Two of the clinics are hosted by churches with many volunteers keeping costs low. Emergency room care, on the average, is three times more costly than clinic care.
· The ten million dollars in Hospital District funds infused annually into our local economy create jobs, provide state of the art medical equipment, keep our emergency rooms and hospitals from overflowing, keep costs down with preventative care and education, keep families from being forced into bankruptcy, and reduce human suffering. All of that helps the entire community. Clearly, taxpayers get a huge return on their investment.
How can you show your support for fully funding the Hospital District? Please attend the “Keep the Care” Rally at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 9, 2021 in front of the Round Administrative Building in Tavares. Please bring water and an umbrella to keep cool. Our SJE Committee will have signs, but other signs are welcome. After the rally, please attend the Hospital District meeting at 5:30 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Jane Hepting at 352-250-6771 or email@example.com.