Viewpoint - October 27, 2010

Why we need Sequoia Healthcare District

In the Nov. 2 vote for board members of the Sequoia Healthcare District, three candidates, led by incumbent Jack Hickey, want to disband the district, and four want to continue its worthwhile cost-saving programs.

There are two key issues to understand. One is the value of preventive health care in reducing the cost of running local hospitals and of our state-funded Medi-Cal program.

The other is that if we disband the Sequoia Healthcare District, the taxes which fund its valuable programs will still be collected. But, instead of using those funds for local community programs, the money will go to Sacramento.

Preventive health care pays big dividends: Local community clinics for the uninsured and less-well-off families currently provide doctor visits at a fraction of the cost of emergency-room treatment (the main alternative used by the uninsured). The district funds effective local clinics where doctors volunteer their services to those in need.

The property tax law is very clear: If our health-care district is disbanded, as Jack Hickey is mistakenly lobbying for, the portion of our taxes that currently support pro-active health programs will be sent to our state's general fund. There will be no reduction in taxes.

The health-care efforts that the district invests in clearly lead to reducing the overall cost of health care in our region. That saves you and me from escalating taxes in the future. The real path to saving taxes is to vote for three candidates among these four: Alpio Barbara, Art Faro, Dr. Jerry Shefren, and Ruth West-Gorrin.

Clem Malony, Menalto Avenue, Menlo Park


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