New Campaign Raising Awareness about Health Inequities and Misspending by Texas’ Publicly-Funded Hospital Districts at SXSW Panel on Ending Racism in Healthcare

AUSTIN, Texas, March 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The NAACP Austin today announced the launch of Health Equity First, a new issue-education campaign aimed at raising awareness about misspending by publicly-funded hospital districts and the impact on racial health disparities.

The launch of Health Equity First will be highlighted at SXSW with NAACP Austin President, Nelson Linder, sharing his local perspective during the “Health Equity: Ending Racism in the US Health Care” panel this Saturday, March 12th at 10 am the Austin Marriot Downtown. The forum is hosted by The Health Equity Collaborative (HEC) featuring besides Mr. Linder, Tammy Boyd of Black Women’s Health Imperative, Amy Hinojosa of  MANA (A National Latina Organization) and Justin Nelson of the  National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

“Here in Austin and across Texas, voters authorized  public hospitals  to collect taxes to ensure the healthcare needs of the poor.  But our investigations reveal that a number of these tax-supported institutions are falling short on this responsibility. Many overlook disadvantaged communities for money-making investments and are allocating only a portion of the taxes collected directly to charity care,” stated Nelson Linder, President, NAACP Austin. 

“Public hospital district spending priorities have created healthcare systems that exacerbate racial inequities. We can and we must do better by the poor,” concluded Linder.

Health Equity First was spurred by Linder’s participation in the late 2021 release of INQUEST: An Examination of Central Health, a short documentary by Austin filmmaker Steve Mims questioning why $280 million in  taxpayer funds  for the poor’s healthcare in Travis County are instead going to the Dell Medical School. The group will be taking  an in-depth look at taxpayer-supported hospital districts’ commitment to caring for the poor.

The campaign rollout includes the launch of The website includes an issue brief landing page featuring data comparing taxes levied vs. funding allocated to charity care in six of the state’s largest hospital districts. It also has the full  documentary film, the release of additional analysis, and a petition calling for an audit of Central Health in upcoming weeks.

The Health Equity First campaign seeks to raise awareness about the gap between taxes levied by public hospital and healthcare districts and funds ultimately spent on the poor’s care and its impact on health equity.

About The NAACP Austin: The Austin branch of the NAACP has worked diligently to address the key economic, social and political issues facing people of color. For more information visit the organization’s website at

SOURCE Health Equity

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