October 31, 2012
Central Texans as a whole share a generous spirit and a thoughtful long term view of what is good for our community.
We all have worked in this community for many years, as have so many others, to ensure that women’s health care services are available and affordable. We can attest that Proposition 1 is an unprecedented opportunity to affordably expand and improve health care services for women, children, the elderly, and the uninsured AND to improve access to specialty services and health care in general for all of us.
As Austin grows, our community WILL, by necessity, continue to provide health care services to its uninsured and underserved population. The Proposition 1 election on November 6 will determine whether we do so in a smart, less costly manner; or whether we will continue to rely on inefficient and increasingly expensive emergency rooms that are already overcrowded.
The long-term health of our community is too important for it to be the responsibility of only a few. We are fortunate that we have large institutions such as Central Health, the University of Texas, The University of Texas System, and Seton Healthcare Family with the vision and substantial resources to help address the opportunities and challenges we face. But we must all do our part. The welfare of our community is our responsibility – all of us. Under Proposition 1, our part of that shared responsibility would cost the average homeowner just $9 per month. We enthusiastically embrace this very reasonable investment that will do so much to help expand primary, specialty and mental health care for all of our citizens.
Proposition 1 will ensure that the public interest will drive our health services delivery and funding – our public institution, Central Health, will maintain the controlling interest in how these services will be deployed and funded. Private interests like Seton (and, hopefully soon, St. David’s, as well as other private providers in our community) will bring their resources to the table as part of this effort. In exchange, they will share in the new local and federal dollars this collaboration will bring to our region to expand the quality and capacity of our health care delivery system.
We urge you to join with us and other citizens of Travis County who are thinking of the long term “common good” for our region. Years from now, we will look back, reflect on this wise and relatively small investment, and marvel at the long-term benefits it created for our region.
Martha E. Smiley