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Los Angeles County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure B
Preservation of Trauma Centers and Emergency Medical Services; Bioterrorism Response
County of Los Angeles

2/3 Majority Approval Required

1,180,551 / 73.20% Yes votes ...... 432,306 / 26.80% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 26 10:38am, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (4,922/4,922)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To avoid the life-threatening shutdown of Los Angeles County's trauma network, maintain and expand the trauma network countywide, ensure more timely response to critical and urgent medical emergencies and respond effectively to biological or chemical terrorism, shall all property owners pay an annual tax of three cents per square foot of improvements (buildings) on developed property?

Impartial Analysis from Lloyd W. Pellman, County Counsel
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Approval of Measure B would authorize the County of Los Angeles to levy a special tax on structural improvements located within the County to provide funding for the Countywide System of Trauma Centers, Emergency Medical Services and Bioterrorism Response.

The purposes of the Measure are: (1) to avoid the life-threatening shutdown of Los Angeles County's trauma network, (2) to maintain and expand the trauma network Countywide, while ensuring more timely response to critical and urgent medical emergencies, and (3) to respond effectively to biological and chemical terrorism.

The Countywide system of trauma centers refers to that system coordinated by the department of health services, consisting of both public and privately operated resources, that seek to build and sustain a Countywide system of prehospital and hospital trauma care including care provided in, or en route to, from, or between acute care hospitals, trauma centers, or other health care facilities.

The term trauma center refers to a hospital that maintains specialized equipment and a panel of physician specialists, including a trauma surgeon available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to treat trauma patients.

Emergency medical services refers to prehospital and hospital critical and urgent emergency care, including care provided in, or en route to, from or between acute care hospitals or other health care facilities.

Bioterrorism response refers to activities undertaken, directly or through contract, or coordinated by, the County Department of Health Services to address the medical needs of persons exposed to bioterrorist or chemical attack.

The tax would be levied commencing with fiscal year 2003-2004, beginning July 1, 2003, on all improved parcels in the County at a rate of 3 cents per square foot of structural improvements, excluding the square footage of improvements used for parking. The rate per parcel would remain the same from year to year unless specifically adjusted or reduced to zero by specific action of the Board of Supervisors. Upward adjustments would be limited to changes in the medical component of the Western Urban Consumer Price Index from July 1, 2003. Any tax levied shall become a lien upon the property against which taxes are assessed.

The Auditor-Controller of the County of Los Angeles shall create a new account in which the proceeds from the special tax shall be deposited. The Auditor- Controller shall annually file with the County Board of Supervisors a report setting forth the amount of funds collected and expended pursuant to this Measure.

The Department of Health Services of the County of Los Angeles shall expend the revenues from the special tax only for the purposes identified in the Measure.

This Measure requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote for passage.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure B. If you desire a copy of the Measure and Resolution, please call the office of the Registrar- Recorder/County Clerk at (562) 466-1310 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

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Arguments For Measure B Arguments Against Measure B

In the event of trauma injury or heart attack, minutes # even seconds # make the difference between life and death. Measure B would create a stable flow of revenue to preserve Los Angeles County's trauma and emergency medical network - saving lives every day in every part of our region.

In 1985, there were 22 public and private Trauma Centers in the County. Today, only 13 remain to cover an area from Lancaster to Cerritos, and from Claremont to the Pacific Coast. This fragile network of trauma and emergency services is stretched to the breaking point.

These critical facilities are strategically spaced throughout the County so that victims of car crashes, drowning, burns, gunshots, heart attacks and strokes can receive emergency treatment without losing precious time. Should more of our Trauma Centers and Emergency Rooms be forced to close, every person throughout Los Angeles County will be at greater risk when suffering a critical injury.

We are confronting this crisis now because State trauma funding has steadily diminished by 88% over the last decade, while federal Medicaid "waiver" funding will run out in two years. These cuts threaten to plunge the County's entire medical delivery system into meltdown. Measure B cannot replace the loss of all of these funds. But it can and will save the most critical services we provide
- trauma and critical emergency care.

Measure B is insurance for our entire community - not just part of it. Any one of us is only an accident away from needing a Trauma Center, and only a heart attack or stroke away from needing an Emergency Room. Let us join together now to rescue our Trauma/Emergency system # and when the time comes, it will be there to rescue us.

Save trauma care # and save lives. Vote "Yes" on Measure B!

Director, Emergency Medical Services Agency County of Los Angeles

Chief, Paramedic Services, Los Angeles County Fire Department

League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County

Dean, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

Provost, Medical Sciences and Dean,
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
(Affiliation listed for identification purposes)

Rebuttal to Arguments For

YOU ARE ALREADY PAYING TAXES THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SPENT ON TRAUMA/EMERGENCY CARE. Proponents of Measure B admit that the state has chosen to cut your tax dollars on funding for trauma/emergency care by 88% in the last decade. So, you're paying the taxes, but not getting the service.

Measure B also places an unfair burden on homeowners who are already struggling to make ends meet. This special tax has no cap on future inflation increases. As inflation increases, so will your tax.


Vote "No" on Measure B!

Supervisor, Los Angeles County

Chief of Medical Staff, ELA Star Community Hospital

Chairman, Board of Directors, Antelope Valley Hospital

President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Measure B is wrong!

Don't let the state off the hook for its responsibility to pay for the County's trauma/emergency care system. The State has mismanaged its budget, and Measure B is asking you to foot the bill by increasing your property taxes by at least $175 million a year. This tax will go up as the cost of living increases.

Paying for the new tax does not guarantee adequate access to trauma care services. Proponents of Measure B admit that it may not be possible for residents of North Los Angeles County to have on-going trauma coverage. Instead, they will have to risk their lives trying to find a trauma care center far from home.

This new tax also does not resolve the Federal government's failed immigration policy's impact on our health care system. People using the health care services are not paying for it: YOU ARE!

Protect yourselves from new taxes for non-property related services. Home and business owners are already paying too much in special taxes. Now you are being asked to pay more.

This sneak attack on the protections of Proposition 13 opens the floodgates for additional taxes; the sky's the limit!

So vote "NO" on Measure B, and stop your taxes from going up even further.

Los Angeles County Supervisor

President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association



Rebuttal to Arguments Against
If Los Angeles County's Trauma Centers System collapses, everyone will be at risk # rich and poor, insured and uninsured. Trauma Centers are not the same as Emergency Rooms # they are specially staffed and equipped to save lives in the event of catastrophic injury. Trauma Centers are strategically located so that victims can be treated wherever trauma occurs. If you are in a car accident and no functioning Trauma Center is available, all the insurance in the world may not be enough to save your life.

If County Trauma Centers and Emergency Rooms shut down, their patients will turn to private hospitals, which by law cannot turn them away. Such demand could force many of these private hospitals to close their Trauma Centers and ERs to everyone # sending the entire system into meltdown.

Measure B will not "bail out" other levels of government. It will plug only a fraction of the hole in our health budget. But it will allow us to sustain those parts of the county health system that everybody needs.

Measure B will make it possible to provide trauma service in three areas where none currently exists: Pomona, the eastern San Gabriel Valley and the Antelope Valley. Antelope Valley residents would have either a Trauma Hospital or a fully-equipped trauma helicopter that is dedicated full-time to that area.

Measure B will protect our property values by ensuring the availability of lifesaving medical services throughout Los Angeles County.

Measure B is an investment in our health and safety!

Vote "YES" on Measure B.

Chief, Paramedic Services Los Angeles County Fire Department
Hospital Association of Southern California

League of Women Voters

Chair, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Commission

Emeritus Professor and Chair Department of Emergency Medicine
Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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