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Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 09/ 6/2010

Repeal the ambulance fee

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Royce Hanson,
Montgomery Village

Hubert Humphrey said the test of the moral worth of a government is how it treats its most vulnerable residents. Montgomery County’s ambulance fee fails Humphrey’s test. It should be repealed.

In Upper Montgomery, volunteers are a major component of the fire and rescue service. Volunteerism is a way of life, a key part of the neighborliness that knits the community and maintains the value of helping each other. Charging for an emergency trip to the hospital isn’t what neighbors in caring communities do.

A fee for service is a transaction. Volunteering and contributing are commitments to community. Fees diminish and ultimately can extinguish the volunteer system, and then we shall all be poorer and an ambulance ride will cost even more. This is a case where the value of the common good exceeds the cost of an individualized service. We must find another way to make ends meet.

The writer is a Democratic candidate for the District 2 seat on the Montgomery County Council.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 6, 2010; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Montgomery County  
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