An experiment in Tampa, Fla., to fund indigent care through a special half-cent sales tax may be ending.
A Florida Senate committee last week voted against a bill to extend the tax as the three-month session ended.
Hillsborough County spends about $44 million a year to fund 10 clinics to treat 25,000 uninsured and poor residents. Unless it's saved in next year's legislative session, the program will expire in September 1998.
A spokesman for state Sen. John Grant (R-Tampa), who supports the tax, said Republican leaders killed the bill to uphold the party's position on no new taxes.
If the tax isn't reinstated, local healthcare experts believe more uninsured patients will flock to hospital emergency departments.