154.302 Legislative intent.—The Legislature finds that certain hospitals provide a disproportionate share of charity care for persons who are indigent, not able to pay their medical bills, and not eligible for government-funded programs. The burden of absorbing the cost of this uncompensated charity care is borne by the hospital, the private pay patients, and, many times, by the taxpayers in the county when the hospital is subsidized by tax revenues. The Legislature further finds that it is inequitable for hospitals and taxpayers of one county to be expected to subsidize the care of out-of-county indigent persons. Finally, the Legislature declares that the state and the counties must share the responsibility of assuring that adequate and affordable health care is available to all Floridians. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to place the ultimate financial obligation for the out-of-county hospital care of qualified indigent patients on the county in which the indigent patient resides.
History.—s. 3, ch. 77-455; s. 7, ch. 88-294; s. 3, ch. 98-191.