A private, for-profit healthcare system is putting their own bottom line over the health of our community right here in Travis County.
St. David's Healthcare, a private, for-profit hospital system, is now campaigning against Central Health Proposition 1 because its passage would hurt their corporate bottom line. The Austin American-Statesman reported today that St. David's has come out against the local ballot proposition to raise funds to support bringing a medical school to Austin. Sadly, their motivation is all about putting their corporate profits above our community health.
The Seton family of hospitals, which are the one of the major providers in the Travis County healthcare district, are non-profit healthcare providers, and thus are more concerned with healthy patient outcomes than corporate bottom lines.
St. David's has been involved in discussions about Prop 1 and efforts to bring a medical school to Austin since the very beginning of the process. But now that they're not going to make enough money if it passes, they've decided to come out against it during the first week of early voting. It's a cruddy move that could very well result in preventing Travis County residents from accessing the healthcare that they desperately need.
St. David's is controlled by HCA, a gigantic corporation that controls 163 hospitals across the country and is owned by — wait for it — Bain Capital, the private equity firm started by Mitt Romney.
St. David's parent corporation is raking in record profits as healthcare costs spiral out of control. HCA-controlled hospitals like St. David's have increased their profits by finding ways to squeeze more money out of private insurance corporations.
So let's get this straight. A private, for-profit hospital system (St. David's) owned by a private equity firm (Bain Capital) that was founded by Mitt Romney is campaigning against a ballot measure (Central Health Prop 1) that will expand non-profit healthcare and provide increased access to healthcare for all Travis County residents, especially the neediest.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the country. It's a disgrace. Even Travis County has 200,000 uninsured residents, many of whom are working families. Central Health will expand access to healthcare for the uninsured, and support a broad network of providers to address a wide range of healthcare needs.
But since its passage will mean that St. David's won't be able to profit as much off providing healthcare to the poor, they're opposing Prop 1.
This doesn't quite pass the smell test. St. David's can't get a big enough piece of the financial pie to make it worth their corporate backers' time, so they want to make sure no one else can provide expanded healthcare options either.
Prop 1 shouldn't be about whether a big corporation can make enough money off of sick Travis County residents, but thanks to St. David's craven political move, the election may well now hinge on their last-ditch effort to put their own profits above our community health.
Don't be fooled. Vote FOR Central Health Proposition 1 and help bring much-needed healthcare access to Travis County.