Four months of campaign messages about the long-deferred needs of Jackson Health System and the urgency for the aging public hospital system to more effectively compete against South Florida’s private and not-for-profit hospitals paid off Tuesday.
Miami-Dade voters approved a referendum to raise their property taxes and fund $830 million in upgrades and new equipment and facilities for Jackson.
The victory at the polls helps secure Jackson’s long-term future in the face of declining reimbursements from state and federal government programs and the uncertainties of the Affordable Care Act, said Carlos Migoya, chief executive.
It also allows Jackson to complete the financial turnaround that brought the hospital system back from the brink of bankruptcy in 2011, and begin the renovations, equipment upgrades and new construction that Jackson’s leaders believe are needed to attract more insured patients to help pay for the large numbers of uninsured and indigent patients whom the hospital serves.
“Plenty of people who voted for this bond today did it without thinking they would ever need Jackson themselves,’’ Migoya said, acknowledging the broad support the referendum received. “Over the next decade, we will look back at this as the turning point.’’