Three hundred words are not enough to adequately respond to the Nov. 10 Herald article pertaining to the Federation of Manatee County Community Associations proposal for funding health care for the needy in Manatee County.
The federation refers to matching funds available from the state of Florida that can be drawn down. I believe that they are referring to the federal government's Low Income Pool funding, which requires matching funds from state and local governments. This funding is available to hospitals, community health centers and other organizations that provide health care services for the poor and meet specific standards.
The local matching funds must come from local taxes; they cannot come from donations from the service providers or anyone else. The property taxes paid by the hospitals could be used to create the matching funds.
I am not sure that the local governments want to give up $21 million in property taxes, but I could be wrong.
It was mentioned in the article that UHS had an $82.8 million in quarterly earnings. Since there are over 53 million shares in the company, this amounts to about $1.53 per share return to the investors. If we want a privatized health system, we need organizations and people to invest in ownership. If there isn't a return on investment, who do you think will invest?