The NTH recently published an article advising residents they will have to pay for “Treat and Release” services provided by ambulance personnel.
The rationale is the “fee will help reduce the burden on taxpayers for EMS services.” However, no mention was made of how much property taxes will decrease from this savings. (Residents now pay a hefty fee for emergency services on their property tax bill.)
What Treat and Release amounts to is a form of double taxation. Residents have already paid for EMS manpower, training and equipment. To actually use these resources would require yet another fee to the citizen. This is unconscionable.
Critic Henry Louis Mencken said, “When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.”
And the statement that a “lot of insurance companies are now allowing billing for those types of on-scene services” is fallacious since there are substantial deductibles in many cases, leaving the citizen still penalized.
And what if the injured citizen didn’t make the call for an ambulance? Are they going to be financially castigated for a decision they had no voice in?
Or how is the citizen supposed to have enough medical knowledge to determine if they have indigestion or a heart attack? Delay pondering a potential bill may be fatal.
A statement was also made “County EMS personnel are ‘providing a lot of the scope of the service but are not able to bill for that.’” It shouldn’t be billable because the expenses were already remitted via the property tax!
If the patient wants the service and refuses the transport, and is not a Coweta property tax payer, then billing would make sense. Otherwise this is another example of Coweta County trying to squeeze cash from its citizens.
“With various people complaining about ‘price gouging’... economist Walter Williams has coined a new term: "Tax gouging." “All taxation is an evil, but heavy taxes, indiscriminately levied on every everything are one of the greatest curses that can afflict a people.” – Henry Brooks Adams
Citizens need to inform their county representative this arrangement is unacceptable. I look forward to reading about the first lawsuit over this reprehensible practice.