Hercules City Council Endorses Parcel Tax Measure To Fund Doctors Medical Center San Pablo
The Hercules City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to endorse a measure for the June 8 ballot that would assess single-family homeowners a $52-per-year tax to fund Doctors Medical Center San Pablo, the Contra Costa Times reports. Measure D, which requires two-thirds voter approval to pass, would raise $6 million annually for the West Contra Costa Healthcare District. Jim Beaver, executive director of the health care district, said that the tax would provide sufficient funds for the district to secure a loan to cover operating expenses until the district begins collecting funds "several months" after a contract with Tenet Healthcare -- the hospital's current operator -- ends July 31. Tenet has said it would not renew the contract. The funds raised by the ballot measure would be used in part to offset losses in the hospital's emergency department, which treats about 40,000 patients per year, one-quarter of whom are uninsured. According to the Times, the district could have to reduce operations at Doctors if the parcel tax is not approved and could limit care at the ED at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Richmond, the only other ED in West Contra Costa County. In addition, Beaver said that any potential service reduction could "spill over" to hospitals in other counties that already face capacity issues, the Times reports. Council member Kris Valstad said, "It is imperative that we act affirmatively on this measure so we can make ourselves and our community safe, not only now but in the future" (Lochner, Contra Costa Times, 4/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.