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Trauma Measure for L.A.

October 26, 2002

Re "Vote Yes for Trauma Care," editorial, Oct. 18:

L.A. County Measure B is a Band-Aid remedy to cure a serious cancer in the health-care crisis. Homeowners, however, should view Measure B as a sneaky attempt to circumvent the protections of Prop. 13.

Right now, for many, the amount seems small, just 3 cents per square foot. But voters will forever surrender to the politicians the control and power to increase this tax annually, tied to the rate of medical inflation. There are no caps on the amount this tax can be increased, and no further voter approval will be required. It is interesting to note that in the sample ballot, not one of the supervisors who voted to include this measure had the guts to be listed as a supporter.

Trauma care is an essential service for everyone living, working or traveling in L.A. County. The benefits have little direct connection to property ownership. To impose the burden of rescuing the trauma-care program on the homeowners of L.A. County is grossly unfair. This burden should be shared by everyone.

The causes indicated in your editorial for the health-care crisis are attributed to illegal immigration and the high uninsured rate of L.A. County. The solutions to these problems can be resolved only at the federal and state level. Los Angeles County property owners should vote no on Measure B.

Frank Bajinting

Whittier

*

As your editorial correctly points out, though Measure B by no means provides a total solution to the county's health-care funding crisis, it represents an essential step in the right direction. As the county continues its eleventh-hour negotiations with the federal and state governments, it is imperative that we deliver a strong turnout in favor of Measure B. In bolstering the county's case for federal assistance, we must demonstrate that our citizens are willing to bear a proportionate share of the costs associated with vitally important emergency and trauma-care programs.

A common misconception regarding Measure B is that property owners will bear the entire burden. In actuality, the costs will be spread between property owners and renters through rental payments to the landlords. In the wake of the county's looming funding crisis, a vote for Measure B is a vote for preserving the integrity of Harbor-UCLA, Olive View and other core components of the county-operated health-care system.

John Newport

Harbor-UCLA Medical

Foundation, Torrance

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