EMS Budget – Special Village Board Meeting 8/24/09
The privatizers are back.
The Village Board met tonight to discuss the “crisis” with the EMS budget. Chris Thomas explained that because of decreasing volunteerism, the EMS budget would have to see an increase of 25% next year. The likely figure for next year will be $425,000. I’m guessing there are about 8000 people served by the ambulance. (Ulysses, Trumansburg, and parts of Hector and Covert) $425,000 / 8000 = $53/person/year. Please, let me pay it. Don’t start billing. Don’t get into bed with the damn private for profit insurance companies. I’ve been telling them for a year, and they still don’t get it. If we cost shift part of our $53 tax burden, onto the insurance companies, they will shift it back onto us in the form of higher premiums. The cost to the average family of four for health insurance is currently $13000. It is estimated to double in the next 7 to 8 years. $26,000 is nearly half of the average income of a Ulysses worker. That’s a real crisis. 18,ooo people a year die, in the US, because they didn’t have health insurance. That’s a real crisis. Some of those 18,000 died because they didn’t call an ambulance because they couldn’t afford it. That’s a shame.
There is no crisis in paying for our wonderful single payer ambulance. It’s the best value I get for my tax dollar. $53 and we get quick response from trained emt’s and nobody gets a bill. My neighbor that doesn’t have health insurance doesn’t need to fear a big bill when her kid has an asthma attack. If we go to billing, the insurance companies will raise premiums to cover the cost – plus profit! Then not only will the uninsured not call when they need an ambulance, but those of us that do have insurance will become part of the system that allows the insurance industry to make obscene profits.
The Village held a public forum last year to get feedback from the community on wether or not to go to billing. The overwhelming majority said NO! What part of “no” don’t they understand?
We have to tell them again and again.