Vote No on Measure W, Urges Letter Writer
To the community,
Once again, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District is asking us to support the healthcare operation in Garberville, by voting to tax the persons owning real property an additional $170/year for 45 years.
The money, to be collected by Humboldt County, would supposedly be used to secure and make the payments on a USDA loan for $40 million dollars which is to be used to pay the costs of constructing a new building to house the hospital.
SHCHD has hired a contractor to ram this through, and in a flurry of sales techniques, they have done a reasonable job of sugar-coating the major new tax. It is clear that at least some people, primarily seniors and the few engaged supporters and employees of SHCHD, are interested in taxing your parcel to support their dream of a new building.
And dreaming of a sensibly operated and profitable hospital for all might not seem like a bad idea!
The reality is, that SHCHD does not appear to have the support of the community. Many persons have an unpleasant story, a negative issue, an apathetic viewpoint. Few persons actually present in SoHum would consider using SHCHD for their personal care, preferring to go North or South to see providers and receive services. Also there is a Federally Funded clinic in Redway, adequate for many people’s needs. Frequently, SHCHD fails to meet the needs of the population at all, lacking essential services such as women’s health, obstetrics, pharmacy, behavioral health and drug treatment, and pain management. SHCHD also lacks adequate professional staff to see persons desiring services.
A community which already does not use or support the hospital will make poor candidates to be patients of the “new” facility. Only a small percentage of SoHum residents have the ability to pay the rates and fees charged by SHCHD. Only a few actually have insurance or the means to pay cash, and only a small percentage of the persons in SoHum own their property.
The sales tools used by SHCHD to sell this election have been largely scare tactics. When measure W fails:
The hospital will not close.
Property values will not fall.
SHCHD will continue to be the poor quality employer and the worst-choice provider for the few persons in poor health and the indigent, just as it has for the last 5 years. The SNF will continue to be the cash-cow. The ER docs will receive their $10,000/week salary, the lab will continue to be low-staffed, and the employees will be exploited, underpaid, and stuck in their jobs until they are abused, harassed and possibly experienced enough to take their careers elsewhere. Persons who consume services, for whatever reason, will continue to be overcharged, underwhelmed, and disaffected by this extremely poor-quality healthcare operation. The “hospital” will be low-census, underused and reviled.
In short, nothing will change but the cast of characters.The message from administrators and board members will not change either!
In communities that support their facilities, you would find wealthy donors and a population of persons willing to sacrifice to have a hospital in their community. A profitable Hospital that was sensibly operated would not need a parcel tax, or try to float a crazy plan like Measure W.
I certainly hope that this terrible plan to tax the few to support this poor quality facility and broken Healthcare District while raising the costs of living in SoHum will go down to defeat.
It IS a plan, but from my point of view, it is a poor plan.
PLEASE VOTE NO ON MEASURE W!!
For more information about the proposed hospital see Together We Can Build It.