Opposition grows to county hospital bond measure

Opposition grows to county hospital bond measure
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Phil Benson

The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce says it is opposing a $935 million bond measure for Maricopa County's special healthcare district.

Proposition 480 calls on the county's voters to OK a bond of up to $935 million for new and renovated facilities for the Maricopa Integrated Health System.

The Gilbert chamber calls for a more clearly-defined itemization for use of funds.

According to chamber President/CEO Kathy Tilque, members felt the Maricopa Integrated Health System should first work closely with local private healthcare providers to determine which services currently overlap and how best to complement or expand services that are not duplicated.

"We believe partnerships can be leveraged to provide healthcare to all populations, including those who are currently underserved," Tilque said.

Tilque acknowledged the importance of two very specific services MIHS provides - behavioral health and the burn center - that must be addressed in the collaborative assessment.

The Arizona Tax Research Association announced in September its opposition to the measure.

ATRA President Kevin McCarthy called it "an all-or-nothing proposal that amounts to a blank check from taxpayers."

Latinos for 480 are among those supporting the proposition. The group includes Arizona Congressman Ed Pastor, Phoenix council members Laura Pastor and Daniel Valenzuela and Ruben Gallego, the Democratic nominee for Arizona's 7th Congressional District.

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