KC residents could be asked to renew tax to subsidize health care bills

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City, Mo., voters may heading to the ballot box in April to help decide whether to subsidize health care for the area's poorest residents.

City council members are expected to ask voters to renew part of a tax that now pays for part of the health care bills at Truman Medical Center, five low-cost or free clinics and the city's ambulance service.

If voters approve it, the property tax would generate about $15 million a year to do so. A total of $150 million would be collected through property taxes through the year 2023.
    
Supporters told city council members Wednesday that they need the tax extension to pay for the increased demand anticipated next year.

"If you don't have it , we can't provide the care," said Sherry Wood, CEO at the Kansas City Care Clinic.

Critics said residents are too strapped to renew the tax this year and that health care facilities will get additional money for newly-insured patients when the federal government's Affordable Care Act takes effect next year.

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