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Taxing Homeowners for Trauma Centers

July 29, 2002

L.A. County supervisors have come up with a plan to rescue the county's collapsing health-care network ("Property Tax Hike Proposed," July 25). The only problem is that they're effectively putting a Band-Aid on the problem and not getting to the root causes. The emergency rooms that their initiative would fund would be overflowing with families whose local health clinics were closed because of budget cuts and senior citizens malnourished because they no longer had home-care workers to care for them.

Unless we realize that our focus should be on funding preventive care to reduce the need for emergency rooms or trauma care, we'll never really solve the county's health-care problem.

Jaclyn Hancox

Los Angeles

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I do not like to vote to raise taxes, but I would have to vote for this proposal. In April 1993, I was involved in a major auto accident and sustained injuries that, I was told by doctors, 97% of victims die from.

Because of very timely assistance from paramedics from Station 100 in Reseda and the fantastic medical staff at the trauma center at Northridge Hospital, I survived. I cannot say enough about how much we need trauma centers. That is why I will vote for--and everyone else should vote for--this tax increase. At any time it could be you or one of your loved ones who will need the service.

Robert D. Hartzfeld

Van Nuys

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I'm surprised that Zev Yaroslavsky and the other members of the Board of Supervisors feeding at the public trough would have the nerve to suggest placing the trauma center issue on the backs of homeowners. On first glance, less than $50 a year for most homeowners doesn't seem so bad. Well, it may be that amount for now, but anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature understands that it's the thin edge of the wedge being inserted, and board members have the big mallet ready to pound on the other end. How many additional "Hey, it's just 50 bucks a year!" measures are waiting to spring forth if this one flies?

Public facilities like trauma centers and emergency rooms should be paid for by everyone or no one. Maybe it's time to look into corporate sponsorship. How about the "FedEx Trauma Center"?

Bob Kertesz

Los Angeles

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