Letters to the Editor

Measure could hurt healthcare

I would like to express deep concerns about how proposed Initiative 1033 directly will affect our local healthcare and the patients we serve.

As you know, hospitals rely on state funding and were hard hit by this year’s round of legislative budget cuts.

I-1033 would make the recent cuts — in this time of severe economic recession — permanent.

If I-1033 is enacted by voters, no new investments or restoration of past cuts can occur. Because healthcare funding is not constitutionally protected, hospitals and healthcare services also would be a major target for future reductions.

The state’s office of Financial Management estimates I-1033 would eliminate $5.9 billion in general fund revenues over the next six years, leading hospitals to sustain enormous financial losses.

These losses will result in fewer caregivers for our patients. Fewer caregivers mean less opportunity for patient education, longer wait times for people who need care, overcrowded emergency rooms, and difficulties in receiving necessary follow-up care.

I-1033 will have a profound and lasting impact on healthcare jobs, quality of care, and vital health services right here in our local community.

Thank you for considering the facts about this important issue.

SCOTT W. BOSCH

President & CEO,

Harrison Medical Center

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