Prop 1 Vote Clears Way for UT Austin Medical School

Nov. 6, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas — Voters in the Central Health district tonight approved Proposition 1, which will raise revenue to support health care services. The vote will allow The University of Texas at Austin to establish a medical school.

Following is a statement from University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers on the vote:

"This is a historic night for Austinites, the UT community and world-changing medical research. I’m thrilled and grateful that Central Health residents voted to invest in health care and to help us move ahead with a UT Austin medical school.

"I can’t offer enough praise for Sen. Kirk Watson, a true friend of UT who has dedicated himself to improving health care in Central Texas. I also want to thank the UT System Board of Regents for committing the resources that are crucial to a new medical school.

"Now that the vote is over, the hard work of building a medical school begins.  Provost Steve Leslie and I will appoint a committee of faculty members and health care officials to help recruit an inaugural dean, choose a location for the school and finalize details with Central Health, Seton and other partners. We hope to have a new medical school building and teaching hospital in place for our first class of 50 students in 2015."

For more information, contact: Gary Susswein, Office of the President, 512-471-4945.

18 Comments to "Prop 1 Vote Clears Way for UT Austin Medical School"

1.  Jennifer Maldonado said on Nov. 6, 2012

vote yes

2.  Tim Ohman said on Nov. 6, 2012

A few years too late for my son but still great news!!1

3.  Vincci Chu said on Nov. 7, 2012

I'm excited about the new medical school at UT Austin. I'm planning to apply there.

4.  Joel said on Nov. 7, 2012

Great. I'm unemployed and they've found one more way to take my money.

5.  Ramona Price PhD said on Nov. 7, 2012

Texans will benefit greatly from a medical school in Austin for reasons including: health services, potential economic impact, bringing biotech/pharma to Austin, bridging the gap between science and translational research...an exciting direction for Central Texas.

6.  George Cardwell said on Nov. 7, 2012

What a great idea! The country is in economic hardship, so, of course, let's add a few hundred dollars to the property taxes of Travis county taxpayers. Why didn't we think of this earlier? Maybe we should add an F2 or even an F3 racetrack? How about a bike lane to the moon? I'm getting giddy, it's so fun spending money!! Holy cow - I'm beginning to sound like an Austin city councilman. Please excuse me; I have to go vomit.

7.  Brandon said on Nov. 7, 2012

To all who are against this. Serious. WE will always need healthcare, and if you knew your info it is a public initiative, so the public does need to pay. Property tax has gone up for stupid reason that don't affect everyone such as bike trails on lay bird lake, shrubbery on Mopac, grass on the side f 24th. This was for a good reason and a good cause. I bet y'all don't even own property. Y'all just want to gripe.

8.  tx md said on Nov. 7, 2012

It's painful to think of raising taxes, esp for those with fixed income, but this has been a long time coming. The sooner this gets off the ground, the sooner it will generate economic activity, draw more research funding (public and, more importantly, private), improve the health and educational level of the Austin community.

It takes foresight, but if you've seen the benefits to the communities of Bexar County (UT San Antonio) and Dallas County (Parkland Hospital / UT Southwestern), you get an idea of how this improves the future of an institution and of a community for decades to come. This is an exciting time.

9.  Tom said on Nov. 7, 2012

George Cardwell, Really? You're comparing spending money for a medical school to building a racetrack? Do you have any idea what this entails? It involves bringing more physicians into the state. It involves bettering the healthcare for the indigent and poor by creating public teaching hospitals. When you provide healthcare to these patients, they can stop requiring constant use of emergency services that they don't pay for. When they don't pay for it, hospitals have to make up the difference by increasing costs to those with insurance. Bettering the health of the poor prevents worsening complications, reduces their use of expensive emergency services, and lowers healthcare costs for everyone. There are many things to complain about in the world, but this is absolutely not one of them.

10.  Eric M. Larson said on Nov. 7, 2012

Having a medical school at UT is long past overdue, and the synergies it will create with the university's fine, existing programs in bioengineering, pharmacy, nursing and other fields will only strengthen all of the programs and attract professors and students of the highest caliber. It is a sound investment in education, the long-term quality of health care in the Austin environs, and a permanent, living inspiration to getting a scientific education.

11.  Albert van Kleeck said on Nov. 7, 2012

I wonder how many of those so excited about this are home owners who will foot a 63% property tax increase to fund this? I'm guessing none. This initiative will effectively tax me out of my home. Thanks Watsy! Who is lining your pockets for this and how much did you get?

12.  Gayle L de Haas said on Nov. 7, 2012

I think this is great! If my daughter decides to go into medicine, I hope she gets in. hook'em horns!!!

By the way, EVERYBODY pays property taxes. Directly, if you own property, or indirectly if you rent. Your landlord pays property taxes and part of your rent is used for those taxes.

13.  Santiago said on Nov. 12, 2012

@Joel - Unemployed, huh? What skills do you have? Are you interested in going back to school? If so, there are plenty of jobs for skilled workers, esp. in IT and oil Services. If you are unskilled - think about attending school. Austin needs this medical school as it will greatly return the investments that are made into it.

14.  Teresa Floyd said on Nov. 12, 2012

All I can say is "It's about time."

15.  Charles Soto said on Nov. 13, 2012

GIven all the misinformation about the tax base and rates involved, I'd say we need a new School of Arithmetic in Texas!

16.  Guillermo Aldana said on Nov. 14, 2012

I would say, its about time - Austin is long, overdue, and it will be the capstone to the rest of UT's outstanding departments. The only thing is: Expect taxes to go up..this will not come cheap to the city, but it will continue to elevate it as one of the best places to live.

17.  lawrence v wallker said on Nov. 16, 2012

I am a resident of Austin who occasionally travels to San Antonio for health services because I am not aware of any facility in Austin that provides the quality and/or comprehensive health care readily available at The U T Center for Health Sciences there.

My experience has been that quality medical care is a
very real challenge for the majority of Texans. And the
absolute best communities for care are those that posses a teaching hospital.

18.  tx nurse said on Nov. 17, 2012

Medical students are already practicing at Brackenridge under the supervision of attendings, and they and the hospitals are already getting paid. This is a revamp of a tax created in 04 to fund indigent healthcare. It essentially funds the teardown and rebuild of aging Brackenridge hospital. We get to fund a new hospital for the Seton system. The same oppressive system that does not respect a woman's right to choice concerning her healthcare, and run by the same religious sect that is running it now. Congrats Austin- you have been taken for a ride.