MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A nearly unanimous Miami-Dade County Commission will send an initiative to Miami-Dade County voters in a special election to fund an $830 million overhaul of the Jackson Health System, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

The general obligation bond would go to pay for improvements to the hospital, the hospital systems’ facilities, the purchasing of equipment, and the expansion of services Jackson offers. The final 9-1 vote saw only Commission Juan C. Zapata dissenting.

According to the Herald, Jackson officials claimed the bond was needed to upgrade the public hospital system to have a better shot at competing with private hospitals in South Florida and to deal with the changes made to Obamacare.

Jackson hopes the changes will decrease the system’s reliance on public funding, while also attracting more paying customers.

According to the Herald, Zapata said since the initiative was being voted upon in an off-year election; the expected low voter turnout wouldn’t be representative of the county’s overall wishes.

In addition, Zapata said county voters may be dealing with too much of a financial pinch given higher water and sewer bills, higher tolls on roads, plus other costs the city has incurred.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)


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