Tuesday, June 14, 2011

San Diego City Council Votes for Increased Ambulance Fees for Ethically Challenged Company

H/T @LorieZapfD6. From the U-T:
The City Council voted 5-3 Monday to have private partner Rural/Metro Corp. buy out the city’s share in San Diego Medical Services for $5.5 million but allow it to remain the city’s ambulance operator for the next two years. During that period, city officials would launch a competitive bidding process to possibly find a new provider and strike a better deal for taxpayers.
We have Republicans on the losing end of a 5-3 vote that seems to harm the poor and uninsured. How do Democrats explain themselves? Here are the objections one can glean from the article.
  • Both a whistle blower, former executive Robert Heffner, and the City Auditor, Eduardo Luna have accused Rural/Metro of cheating the city of millions of dollars.
  • Average costs for ambulance service will increase well above state wide averages.
“We’re talking about a significant increase. ... It falls on the backs of people who don’t have insurance and then those who do have insurance, guess what, their rates are going to go up,” Zapf said. “I don’t understand why we’re looking at such a huge increase.”
Lorie Zapf, Kevin Faulconer, and Carl DeMaio all voted against the buy out.

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