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Does anyone understand the ambulance fee question

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Nancy Waterman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-31-10 07:43 PM
Original message
Does anyone understand the ambulance fee question
on the Montgomery county ballot? My husband and I are trying to figure out whether to support it or not.
One group says we won't have to pay anything. Insurance will cover it. Another says insurance rates will go up. The first says insurance rates are regional and will not go up. I am thoroughly confused. I can't tell if this was dreamed up by some right wing group who just never wants to pay for anything or if it is legitimate.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. I suspect that, one way or another, 'we' will have to pay; that's life.
We pay for public services.

Seems to me this badly written question wants to know how the county pays for such costs, either by billing users, those unfortunate enough to have to call an ambulance, or by spreading the costs around to all taxpayers, as it presumably does now.

I live in Hagerstown at the moment, but spend a lot of time in Silver Spring, and when I lived in DC and family members needed ambulance, sometime later we received bill from DC for same. Cost was covered by our medical insurance, to some extent.

I doubt very much whether 'yes' will have much, if any, effect on an individual's insurance bill.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. My understanding is its a fee that will ONLY be billed to insurance companies
and most insurance companies already pay these fees in other places. Individuals are not going to be asked to pay this bill..in fact, I don't think they will ever see a bill despite what some anti-bill people say. Thats my understanding of it. I know that the Maryland Democratic Party is not endorsing either for or agaisnt this fwiw.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. That's my understanding too, from what I heard on the local news.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's a very bad idea and I strongly oppose it
Insurance companies use the slightest pretext to raise their rates, and I fully expect the medical coverage premiums in Montgomery County to skyrocket if this fee is approved..

I am disgusted that County Exec Ike Leggett is using our tax dollars to PAY the paid firefighters to lobby for this insane fee. The paid firefighters were mobbing the parking lot when I did my early voting on Oct.22 and they were VERY aggressive. I didn't like that at all -- being approached by several loud firefighters at once. If I'd known at the time that they were doing this on county time, I'd have pitched a fit. I want to know how much money this lobbying effort is costing the county.

Yesterday a circuit court judge agreed that the literature being handed out by the paid firefighters was "intimidating." The flier said that without the fee there would be "longer response times for ambulances" and "increased risk for our families and property." Unfortunately the suit to stop these and other allegedly illegal campaign activities was dismissed because it was filed one day too late.

The fee would apply not only to ambulance calls to paid fire and rescue personnel, but also to ambulance calls made by unpaid volunteer fire and rescue personnel. People who live outside the county but work here would likely get hit with big bills for ambulance calls.

Also, county property owners already pay a fire tax for fire and rescue services, so in effect the county would be billing insurance companies for services already paid for by tax dollars.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Who instituted this, when/where/explanation?
At Glenmont Metro yesterday, friend asked Franchot, who couldn't explain, as in, Who pays now.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'm not sure
I suspect it's something Leggett and his handlers came up with as a way to get more revenue for the county.

I believe that the county fire tax, and donations to the volunteer fire departments, pay the costs at present. The volunteer fire and rescue personnel don't get paid by the county; their services are free.

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Nancy Waterman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thank you everyone
I voted for it this AM, but it is really unclear what it will mean. Some say only insurance will get the bills. Those who oppose it say the people who can't pay will not call for an ambulance.
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