Question A: Should there be an ambulance fee in Montgomery County?

Montgomery County Question:

Question A: Should there be an ambulance fee in Montgomery County?

As you will see it on the ballot:

Question A

Referendum on Law Enacted by the County Council
Emergency Medical Services Transport Fee

Shall the Act to require the collection of an emergency medical services transport (ambulance) fee from: (1) County residents to the extent of the resident’s insurance coverage; and (2) non-County residents subject to a hardship waiver become law?

Arguments “for” an ambulance fee: The county needs the revenue that this amendment would generate. Other counties report that they have not seen a marked decline the use of 911 as a result of ambulance fees.

Arguments “against” an ambulance fee: The fee would discourage some from calling 911; For “core government functions – police, fire, rescue – there should be no barriers”.  Once the fee is in place the incentive to increase it or do away with limiting protections will increase.

Extra information: “hardship waiver” would cover those earning three times the federal poverty guideline or less. That’s $32,490 for an individual, or $66,150 for a family of four. (according to a Washington post article on the issue: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102106801_2.html )

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