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The cost of medical care will rise in Juneau if Bartlett Regional Hospital includes their proposed new medical service, the Emergency Room (ER) "fast-track" in their Project 2005. BRH is proposing this expansion, despite a declining ER census and stalled population growth.
Excess capacity is the No. 1 cause of rising medical costs. An expansion of the ER was last completed in 1989. The proposed expansion is moving forward without a quantitative analysis using the actual ER census. The justification is based on comments mostly from BRH staff. Smoke and mirrors might build a bigger hospital, but when you reach for your wallet the illusion will be gone.
Including construction costs only, the entire BRH project is estimated to be $51,463,644, according to BRH's Certificate of Need application. Twenty million dollars is proposed to come from taxes, the remaining through existing rates for medical services, and a proposed increase by BRH. The proposed expansion will come at a cost to the citizens of Juneau. When you vote on Tuesday, take a careful look at how your tax dollars are being spent, because BRH will not. Vote no on Proposition 2.
Ellen Rose Varosi
Juneau Urgent Care