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Jax Daily Record Thursday, May 28, 201512:00 PM EST

Duval Delegation unified in support of UF Health

by: David Chapman

With funding for UF Health Jacksonville at a crossroads, members of the Duval County Legislative Delegation will come forth with a unified effort to support the local safety net hospital.

The group met Wednesday at City Hall to discuss the facility and the Low Income Pool program, which was established a decade ago to ensure government support for health care services for indigent residents.

The state received about $2.2 billion of such funding last year, with UF Health receiving $95 million. This year, the state’s share is expected to be about $1 billion.

Additionally, the city last year provided $26 million in funding through the budget.

Russell Armistead, UF Health Jacksonville CEO, told the local legislators that a dip in funding threatens the hospital’s survival. It’s not a cost issue, Armistead told the group, it’s a revenue issue for the hospital.

With a special session starting next week in Tallahassee, Duval Delegation members voted to send a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, the heads of the House and Senate, and other key legislative leaders in support of the hospital staying funded.

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