The Monroe County Commissioners are supposed to debate yet again the value our three million dollar county funded air ambulance service. The voters of the county last year decisively voted in favor of keeping the ambulance called Trauma Star, while not eliminating the privately funded service called Lifenet. County Commissioners want to put out a request for bids from private air ambulances instead of knuckling under and agreeing to keep Trauma Star as we the voters requested in the non binding vote..
The big difference between Lifenet and Trauma Star is money. Lifenet promises not to come after you if you can't afford to pay and if you believe that someone needs to sell you the seven mile bridge. Trauma Star is funded by a parcel tax, $50 in the Lower Keys furthest from Miami and $27 in the Middle Keys. The Upper Keys are already paying a tax and are exempt from this funding program. These monies pay for Trauma Star which will thus charge patients nothing for the flight to Miami above what their insurance ( if they have any) will pay for..
To cement the debate in the average person's mind one needs to know a flight to Miami by air ambulance from these Keys costs around $16,000. I firmly support the presence of Trauma Star in these islands and so will you if you visit the Keys, fall off your scooter or get hit in the head with a coconut or burn yourself in an outboard motor fire. The flight to Miami hospitals saves hundreds of lives a year and i can't understand why the newly elected county commissioners won't get on with supporting what we the voters have asked for..
On the political front we ousted in spectacular fashion the cruddy economists represented by Commissioners McCoy and Spehar and replaced them with new commissioners who promised to be responsive. Ho hum. At least this crowd aren't planning on buying restaurants or spending tens of millions on useless building upgrades at a time when there is no money. But Trauma Star exists, it works, and it gives us peace of mind, even those of us with quality health insurance. It seems we can't get away from electing zombies. What a drag.