The system consists of 3 hospitals and anticipates a 56 million dollar loss this year and double that for next year. Cash on hand is only around 3 weeks, which means that if money stops coming, after 3 weeks the pot would be empty with no payments. The hospital reserve funds are steadily declining and will be almost gone within another year or so.
So what is on the line up to be cut, primary care clinics operated by the Jackson Health System, we just heard that happen too with a budget cut at Harvard, a trend?
The system is hoping for a tax increase to help bail them out. BD
The Jackson Health System -- Miami-Dade's government safety net for healthcare -- is facing a disastrous double-whammy because of the recession: Growing numbers of destitute people are getting free care in its emergency rooms at a time when its tax revenues are falling steadily.
End result: Jackson is running out of money.
Even if the economy turns around, Jackson's leaders say its financial support system is broken and needs to be fixed, either with an additional half-penny sales tax or by setting up a new taxing structure, similar to the ones used by public hospitals in Broward.
For those who have health coverage, the main concern could be keeping Jackson's emergency rooms functioning well so that the inner-city poor don't end up jamming the ERs of suburban facilities.
And for all Miami-Dade taxpayers, the question will be whether they're willing to pay more to help Jackson when many are already severely squeezed by the economic downturn.