The hospital hornswoggle


An inconvenient truth being hidden

from the public is that a special hospital

district comes with its own set of tax

rules and they are frightening. For starters

a hospital district can tax you up to

6 mils, whereas a rural health care district

can only tax up to 4 mils. This begs

the question, if a hospital will only cost

1 additional mil increasing the total to 3

as we are being spoon fed, and there can

be up to 4 mils assessed by the current

rural health care district, then why are we

being herded like sheep to form a hospital

district instead of being asked for 1 additional

mil as a rural health care district?

Or better yet why was there no effort to

implement a Special Purpose Excise Tax

and let county visitors have some skin in

the game?

The answer to this puzzle is hidden, but

it is a hidden mega-bomb. Buried in an obscure

Wyoming statute (Wyoming Statute

39-13-104. (e) (ii) Taxation Rate) lays the

key to the truth. A hospital district, unlike

a rural health care district, can pass

its debt on to the taxpayers, without asking

for permission. If the hospital initiative

passes you will have the privilege of

paying for not only the mill levy assessed,

but additionally any debt incurred by the

special hospital district.

Not only will your taxes go up, the

SCRHCD has openly stated that the cost

of medical treatment will increase dramatically

if we go forward with a CAH.

According to the current administration,

clinical service costs would not increase;

however, emergency services would increase

up to 300 percent. When pressed

to distinguish clinical services from emergency

services at a recent question and

answer session, SCHRCD administration

could not do so. Thus, if you have no insurance

at all or do not typically meet your

deductible amount in any given year this

is a particularly bad deal for you.

The more I research other hospitals in

the area, I find that Sublette County spends

about three times more than some other

counties on health care. Big Horn County

has two hospitals, which Big Horn County

taxpayers provide $1,530,818.00 for two

hospitals! South Big Horn County has

a 10-bed CAH, emergency department,

outpatient laboratory and radiology, family

medicine clinic, walk-in clinic and a

37-bed nursing home that only costs Big

Horn property owners $648,139! North

Big Horn Hospital District has an 85-bed

long-term care facility, which includes

an Alzheimer’s unit that has an attached

nine-bed assisted living facility along with

a hospital that provides inpatient and outpatient

surgery! Don’t take my word for

it, call up the Big Horn County Clerk like

I did and ask for the budget.

Oh, there is more! In Saratoga they are

breaking ground on a new CAH, the North

Platte Valley Medical Center (NPVMC),

which is a nonprofit 501(c)3 and does not

receive any tax dollars. NPVMC has fundraised

more than $4.6 million in addition

to receiving a USDA loan for $18 million

to construct its 42,000-square-foot CAH.

When completed it will include a 25-bed

facility with a 24-hour emergency room,

advanced imaging capabilities including

ultrasound, x-ray, MRI and CT scans

along with an inpatient pharmacy and laboratories.

This same facility will house all

residents of the Saratoga Care Center as

well as enable the NPVMC to offer home

services. How can NPVMC and Big Horn

County create hospitals for about a third

of the cost we are told Sublette County

taxpayers will incur to complete the CAH

project in Sublette County?

I am voting AGAINST the hospital district.

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