Against Hospital District

RECEIVED Thu., May 13, 2004

Dear Editor,
   I hate to say it folks, but you guys have really missed the boat on the hospital district ["Hospital District Vote Brings Heavy Momentum," News, April 30]. Why Austin residents pay five times the tax as Travis County residents is because the vast majority of uncompensated indigent care is incurred by Austin residents and not Travis County residents. Travis County has its own indigent care program that reimburses the city for services at Brackenridge, something the outlying counties that have been getting a free ride for decades (and the real problem the district does not address) would do well to emulate.
   There's no guarantee that the district will reduce the congestion in the Brackenridge emergency room. If anything, I would think moving the children's hospital would do more to relieve that situation than anything else would. After all, isn't that one of the reasons Seton gave for moving children's?
   Speaking of Seton, they have done a lousy job running Brackenridge. They are bringing in 10-15 cents on the dollar less than when the city ran Brack. Since most of the money would go to Brack, and Seton runs Brack, why should Seton be rewarded for its ineptness?
   So there you have it. A district that doesn't take the true facts into consideration, does not address the biggest problems, and forces Travis County to subsidize both Austin indigent care, and Seton's inability to run Brack effectively.
   Bend over and have a nice day.
Ronny L Hoff
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