Thursday, October 29, 2009
Why I Voted Yes on the Wishard Referendum.
I voted YES to building a new Wishard Hospital.
I did it on Monday at the HealthPlex on 10th Street essentially right across the street from what will soon to be, hopefully, the OLD Wishard Hospital. I have read the long diatribes of Gary Welsh and his friends on his blog. I have listened to good friends on both sides of the referendum, and I have seen Matt Gutwein and Lisa Harris do their road show twice now. I have heard from both sides. Weighing the options, I voted yes.
One thing that I have learned in my years of being actively involved in politics is that both sides of this issue want to sway you. The folks against the project want to move you one way, and the folks for the proposal want to move you another.
Having had friends deal with the Wishard Health Network, I do not think that Wishard is embellishing the need for a new hospital. It's needed. It's necessary, and I think we should build it.
That doesn't mean that I'm unmoved by Welsh, Jon Elrod, or anyone else against the project and their arguments. They are all smart people. Perhaps even smarter than I am. However, I watched a close friend of mine deal with the good folks at Wishard. I watched the cramped and crowded emergency room be utilized. I walked all around the spread out hospital with my friend. I sat with my friend at Midtown Mental Health when they were swamped. They are special people, and they need a special place to continue to do their good work.
A yes vote keeps one of the nation's pre-eminent hospitals open and thriving, and the data doesn't lie on that. A yes vote helps future people be served by Wishard's excellent burn unit, level one trauma center, and mental health programs. I voted FOR Wishard because I believe in its mission, and I want to see that mission fulfilled. I don't even care if it costs me more in taxes.
I understand the issues at hand. I understand that, in a worst case scenario, my property tax money may be used to pay for this. I understand all of it, and I still voted yes because I believe it's the right time to help bring Wishard into this new millenium.
This is not a political issue. It's a human issue. That's why everyone from Richard Lugar to Greg Ballard to Congressman Carson is endorsing it. In this tough economic time, this new Wishard is a new project that will bring in jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs.
There are plenty of reasons to vote for it or against it when it comes to this referendum, but, if you throw everything...all the rhetoric...out. The right thing to do, in my estimation, is to vote for a new Wishard Hospital that will serve this city for years to come.
So, I'm sorry to my friends against the proposal. You probably think I'm a part of the problem. I'd like to think that we could all be a part of the solution in making Wishard an even more efficient and better place for all of Marion County.