Austin, Texas November 6, 2012 – Travis County voters passed Central Health Proposition 1 that raises its tax rate by 5 cents. The increase in the tax rate is expected to generate up to an additional $54 million to be matched by another $76 million from federal funds each year, for an additional $130 million annually over the next four years. These funds will help pay for a redesign of the healthcare delivery system in Travis County, and will allow for expansion of healthcare infrastructure and services that provide health care for uninsured residents of Travis County.
“Ultimately, voters recognized the depth of the healthcare crisis and impending provider shortage we face here in Central Texas. We have chosen to blaze a trail, to be truly innovative and forward thinking, in the way we are addressing these problems. The money is an essential component of that solution, but without the cooperation of our community partners and all of the work and planning that so many have contributed to all of the components of our plans to reform the healthcare delivery system in Central Texas, it would mean little. We are truly grateful to the voters of Travis County, and we begin today to implement these healthcare service upgrades,” Central Health Board Chairperson Rosie Mendoza said.
The additional revenue will also enable Central Health to contract with the proposed University of Texas at Austin Medical School to pay for healthcare services delivered to patients in Central Health’s network of providers. The passage of the tax rate increase also puts into action plans by the Seton Healthcare Family to fund and build a new teaching hospital to replace the aging University Medical Center Brackenridge that will serve the medical school and to continue to serve as the safety net provider of services to low-income and uninsured residents of Central Texas and the only level one trauma center for an 11-county area.
“We’re humbled by the trust that’s been extended to Central Health by the voters of Travis County to continue to serve the needs of low-income and uninsured residents in our community and to continue our stewardship of public funds to do so,” Central Health President & CEO Patricia Young Brown said.