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.


guy77money said...

It still gets built even if the vote goes against Wishard. If they would have been more up front with how the whole deal was presented to the public, I could live with voting yes. The problem with this town and state (throw in the whole country while your at it) we can't seem to do anything without distorting the facts and as usual spending way to much money. That's ok we will eventually end up like the other great empire (England) with out of control taxes (can't print money forever) and eroding life style. At least we will have a nice new hospital that anyone can hang out in. Now if they would just let all those poor people in to see the Colts play down at L.O.S. I would feel I was getting some benefits back from my tax money.

Anonymous said...

I am most unhappy with the deception involved with the wording of the referendum question. Other states who have had ballot questions for years have run into the problem of sponsors wording the questions so that no one really knew which way they were voting. That is bad policy and I am afraid that this poorly deceptive wording is a slippery slope to more of this in Indiana. I will be voting yes but the state legislators who came up with the wording on this need to be aware that it may backfire sometime. Besides, with Gary Welsh so adamantly opposed, I know that YES is the correct vote.

Jon E. Easter said...

The legislators did not come up with the wording. Health and Hospital came up with the wording.

Anonymous said...

If they could be trusted when they say they can pay for it I would vote yes. I do not believe them. If they can pay for it as they say then let them. Just do not ask me to pay for it with my tax money. They could build A new hospital in stages and make better use of technology as it becomes avaliable. This would also give them time to prove their nursing home scheme will not be cut off by the feds which is highly probable since they are looking for ways to cut fraud, like double billing which is what their present nursing home scheme amounts to. They will build it even if we vote "no". So let them do it on their own. If you check you will find a lot of the public supporters of this do not live in Marion county and will not pay the resulting taxes. They just make "big bucks" working here in their high up the ladder positions. And want new offices and buildings to matche their pay. Meanwhile taxpayers in Marion county who have been taxed to death to pay for sporting facilities most of them cannot afford to go to suffer some more. I personally have had enough.

Anonymous said...

Like guy77money said. I have been taxed enough for sporting facilities I can not even attend. Then they raise my taxes to pay the light bill!
This hospital will get built even if voters do not approve the tax refrendum. They say they can pay for it and taxes will not be levied. Hard to believe, after the Lucas Oil Stadium deal.
I hope the voters are smart enough to figure out that most of these big name supporters of this refrendum do not live in marion county and will not have to pay the new tax that this will eventually create. Yes I said new tax, the feds will eventually cut off their cash cow of double billing for the nursing homes and we will be paying a new tax. That is why I will vote NO. If they could be believed I would vote yes.

Anonymous said...

Not only that, most of the people wanting to block the hospital seem to have money. I always tell them to do what I did: Don't live Marion County. There are plenty of decent places to live outside of Marion Co., home of the sky high property tax.

To me, if folks really worry about property taxes continuing to spike, and assessors jacking up assessments to make up a shortfall in property tax revenue, just move out of the county already.