Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Business plan lacking for ambulance fee

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Patrick Lacefield, the director of the Montgomery County Office of Public Information, defended the county’s proposal to charge an ambulance fee, saying that insurance companies, not residents, will be billed (‘‘Residents will not be charged ambulance fee,” April 30 commentary).

Both Medicare and insurance policies have caps and provisions for ambulance coverage as well as restrictions on certain charges they will not cover for ambulance transport. Thus, they have the right to deny certain payments for ambulance fees. Also, Medicare is struggling to survive and changes can be made and ambulance fees could be one of them.

No one knows what the ambulance fees will bring or any of the details as there has never been a business plan associated with the fees and the legislation presented to the County Council is void of detailed information.

When all facts are presented then we know the majority of people will agree with us. Emergency services are a basic tenet of government and are already funded by the tax burden on the residents. Any additional fees are unwise, unwarranted and just plain bad for our county.

Marcine D. Goodloe, Kensington

The writer is president of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Rescue Association Inc.