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Florida lawmakers remain skeptical about Jackson hospital funding, board told


Jackson Health System overcame an “anti-public hospital mindset” among state legislators in Tallahassee this legislative session, said Nathan Ray, Jackson’s government relations point man.

But Jackson and public hospitals like it across Florida will continue to face scrutiny from legislators skeptical about taxpayer-supported healthcare facilities.

Ray delivered his report this week to the Public Health Trust that runs Jackson, and noted that the hospital fared better than expected given a number of proposals to redistribute funds for hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured and Medicaid patients.

Florida Rep. Michael Bileca, a Miami Republican and member of Jackson’s board, noted that the county’s legislative delegation remains unified in its support for the busiest public hospital in the state.

But Bileca said legislators from other parts of Florida question the validity of a publicly-funded hospital system.

“They see it as outdated and inefficient,” he said. “Couldn’t the indigent just be taken care of in a much better way and in a different? They ask those kinds of questions.”