Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why I voted no on the referedum

My initial title was "Why I voted against Wishard", but that would be misleading. That would imply that enough "No" votes would prevent them from building the new hospital. But the vote wasn't on if the Health and Hospital Corporation should fund a new facility, but if it can take out bonds backed by property taxes which would get them the lowest rates possible.

First, let's study the referendum itself. It never mentions building a new hospital, or the cost, or where the new building will go. It doesn't mention how it will be financed, and what taxes back that financing. It doesn't mention the size of the new hospital (it'll have 50 less beds than the current one), or what will happen to the current one. It is basically a one-sided referendum, written by Health and Hospital, to purposely mislead people on voting "Yes" to a new hospital, even though it isn't mentioned.

Out and about, officials from HHC have said this won't raise taxes, that the revenue from HHC owned nursing homes will cover it. But HHC doesn't actually own nursing homes, but only owns them on paper so they can bill the federal government twice. The health care bill running through the national Congress is going to gut the funding for the over-payment of government owned nursing homes. And even if that doesn't happen, HHC is scamming the feds, and eventually they'll find out.

Moreso, if a public option does pass, then people will have the ability to go to a variety of hospitals and won't have to use Wishard. What will happen then?

And once that money runs out, where is it going to come from? Property taxes.

(Read this post by Gary Welsh for more of this)

Now, besides that, HHC is also in charge of enforcing various health code laws. They claim that Wishard is "dying" and "falling apart." If that's true, where are all the health code violations? If a new hospital is needed, then why is the Wishard campus in constant (re)construction, adding new office buildings, parking garages, and even a new restaurant?

Honestly, I'd probably have voted for the referendum if it was presented honestly, during a regularly scheduled election, so that this county could have a healthy debate on the city funding a hospital for the less fortunate among us. We would also have a clearer picture of what type of health care reform will happen in DC and make appropriate modifications. But right now, this stinks to high heaven, and seems to be a new construction project because hey, it's been a while since we've built a new palace.

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