Issue 4 Tax Levy (Renewal) Issue - Hamilton County – Health and Hospitalization Services
A renewal of a tax for the benefit of the County of Hamilton, Ohio, for the purpose of supplementing the general fund to provide health and hospitalization services, including University Hospital, now known as University of Cincinnati Medical Center at a rate not exceeding four and seven-hundredths (4.07) mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to forty and seven-tenths cents ($0.407) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five (5) years, commencing in 2017, first due in calendar year 2018. FOR THE TAX LEVY AGAINST THE TAX LEVYISSUE EXPLANATION: The Health and Hospitalization levy (also called the Indigent Care levy) has been in place since May 1966 to provide health care services to low income residents of Hamilton County. This levy is a renewal of an existing levy adopted in 2014 to provide health and hospitalization services at a rate of 4.07 mills on residential and commercial property for five years beginning in 2017 first due in 2018. The proposed levy will raise approximately $38 million per year for medically indigent residents of Hamilton County at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) and Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) and county services for indigent care.It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $51.11 per year, which is the same amount paid currently. Against the recommendation of the citizen-run Tax Levy Review Committee (TLRC), who recommended that this levy be adjusted for inflation by increasing the millage from 4.07 to 4.32, the Hamilton County Commissioners voted to maintain current millage for this levy with no adjustment for inflation. The levy was placed on the ballot by the Commissioners following a review by the TLRC.WHAT THE LEVY WILL DO: The Health and Hospitalization levy would provide funds for low income county residents at UCMC, CHMC and certain indigent care programs. Residents of Hamilton County who are at or below the Federal Poverty Level and who are eligible for Medicaid would be eligible for levy-funded health and hospitalization services.The levy would provide about $13.4 million to UCMC and about $4.4 million to CHMC per year for the next five years. Both hospital shave active programs to identify insurance coverage for uninsured patients and help patients obtain coverage where available.The levy would also provide funding for nonhospital medical services, including:HAMILTON COUNTY JUSTICE CENTER - The majority of direct inmate medical services take place at the justice Center. Costs for inmate emergency, hospital, or nursing home admissions are covered by levy funds.SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT - Security for the Admissions Section, Health Services Section,and Psychiatric Unit of the Justice Center and the 1617 Reading Road facility is provided by the Sheriff’s Department.JUVENILE COURT - The costs of medical services for youth offenders are also funded by this levy. The Youth Center contracts with CHMC for on-site medical services.ALTERNATIVE INTERVENTIONS FOR WOMEN - This program provides court-ordered services for women involved in the criminal justice system who have mental health and substance abuse disorders. In 2016, approximately 68%of the program’s funding came from this levy.HOMELESS HEALTHCARE COORDINATION - Strategies to End Homelessness, an organization that coordinates agencies that shelter and service people experiencing homelessness, is supported by this levy. Funds would support costs related to onsite medical and behavioral health care and case management.ST. VINCENT DE PAUL CHARITABLE PHARMACY - Individuals who do not have insurance coverage and cannot afford their medications can seek pharmaceutical care here.OFF THE STREETS - This program coordinates housing and recovery services to assist women with histories of sex trafficking and exploitation.HAMILTON COUNTY PROBATE COURT - The Court incurs expenses related to mental illness or intellectual disability hearings for those who are indigent and alleged to have mental health issues. Expenses are partially funded by this levy and include attorney, doctor and sheriff fees; deputy clerk and magistrate fees; court filing, docketing and indexing fees; and the costs of forms prepared for those hearings.MENTAL HEALTH AND RECOVERY SERVICES BOARD - The largest cost incurred by the Board is for alcohol and drug abuse services provided by a comprehensive network of eight to ten prevention and treatment service provider agencies. Contracted services provided to indigent residents paid for by this levy include assessment, individual counseling,case management, crisis intervention, group counseling, intensive outpatient, laboratory urinalysis, medication, room and board,residential treatment, and detoxification.HAMILTON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH (HCPH) - With a staff of more than 90, including sanitarians, health educators, and nurses, HCPC strives to prevent disease and injury,promote wellness, and protect people from environmental hazards. HCPC is requesting funds to support a comprehensive harm reduction-blood borne infectious disease prevention program in the face of the dramatic climb in opiate overdoses and reported hepatitis B and C infections among Hamilton County residents since 2010. HCPH also requests funding for a new dental coordinator position, responsible for creating a Hamilton County Oral Health Coalition and engaging the dental community and others in addressing the need for dental care among various populations in Hamilton County. HCPC requests continued levy support of its tuberculosis control program.HAMILTON COUNTY HEROIN COALITION - The Coalition is committed to reaching its goal of addressing the immediate and longterm opiate and heroin epidemic through prevention and public education efforts,increased and improved access to treatment,harm reduction practices to reduce the number of fatal overdoses and their consequences, and controlling the supply of heroin and opiates available. Hamilton County has experienced a 360% increase in the number of individuals under treatment for opioid use from 2010 to 2015.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
Yes - For the Tax Levy
No - Against the Tax Levy
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