I was disheartened to see that The Beachcomber wrote an article on the proposed hospital district, and did not ask for my comments, knowing I co-wrote the con statement.
The campaign for the hospital district has had meetings in small groups with only their voice. They say without a hospital district Neighborcare will leave. They hear that people are unhappy with the clinic and they say it is not about keeping Neighborcare. In an ad they mentioned all the things a hospital district can do; rehabilitation, long term care, ambulance service, urgent care and the list went on. While this is all true, it is not feasible for our community. I feel they are implying that all things are possible. You want something and a hospital district can make that happen. I find this disingenuous.
We will not own the clinic, as they state. In 2018 Neighborcare received $5 million from King County Public Health and $7.8 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is our tax dollars, yet King County and the federal government do not control their clinic. They made $4 million in profit and have $22 million in the bank. Neighborcare is doing just fine financially.
Only a third of our population used Neighborcare last year. Everyone who needs specialists must go off-island.
Right now the pro-people are saying they are looking at taxing us $0.45/$1,000 but they can go as high as $0.75/$1,000 without our vote, collecting between $1.5 to $2.5 million. When have you known a district that does not use their full taxing authority? This will raise our property taxes substantially, making all housing more expensive.
It is hard for me to vote on a complete unknown and trust people who talk in small groups. Please Vote ‘No’!
— Hilary Emmer