Jackson Health System crisis endangers very existence



A time bomb is ticking at Jackson Health System. With more than $330 million in losses in the past two years, Miami-Dade County's 93-year-old public hospital system is scheduled to run out of money in July. Even if it somehow limps along, it faces a secondary crisis: a potentially crippling loss in state funding starting July 1, perhaps as much as $200 million. South Florida healthcare experts are blunt about the looming disaster. They say saving Jackson, the county's safety-net hospital system, requires dramatic changes—changes its leaders have shown no interest in making. A diminished or shuttered Jackson could be a matter of life or death to the 700,000 uninsured in Miami-Dade who rely on it as the county's safety net for the poor. And for taxpayers, there's another concern: the roughly $350 million they pay annually to Jackson through property taxes and a half-penny sales tax approved in 1991 for Jackson support.
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