Reasons to vote against a hospital district

Several considerations should be made.

Before you vote on the proposed hospital district (Prop 1) please consider these comments. I don’t mind paying taxes but I do want the taxes I pay to be used wisely.

1. Prop 1 is advertised as an all or nothing proposition — either we vote for it or the island will be barren of medical services. I do not believe this is true.

2. The most likely provider/partner or manager of services will be Neighborcare Health. Is this what you want?

3. At this point, we don’t know what services we will get from the additional tax burden, even if the current services will be provided.

4. Consultants may say, “offer lots and then you can produce little.”

5. Any procedures that require specialized equipment or expertise will be referred off the island.

6. For low-income seniors, taxes can be deferred, not necessarily eliminated.

7. It was stated that going off the island for medical services for some is an inconvenience. Going off the island for anything is an inconvenience. The fact remains that we do live on an island and have chosen to do so for a number of individual and unique reasons.

8. Orcas Island and Lopez Island were given as examples of other islands that have hospital districts. Compare the ferry times and ferry runs of these islands to Vashon. This is not a fair comparison.

9. Many of the commissioners stated they will defer compensation. This will not last forever.

10. Trust in the process should be earned, not given.

It is better to wait and determine what medical needs the island has through the many diverse and unique voices of Vashon ahead of time, evaluate the cost for those determined needs and then develop a funding plan that meets those needs.

— Steve Nourse

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