Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 96
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for July 19, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Two recent articles have set me to wondering where our priorities are. One article talked about the deficits incurred by the Warrensburg and Holden ambulance services, while the other discussed a new 2,000 foot tower being built for KMOS-TV (thatís CMSUís public TV station). The ambulance services are losing money because the government, through Medicare & Medicaid, pay only a small fraction of the cost of service to their clients. Meanwhile, the new TV tower is reported to cost $3.2 million.

The need for the new TV tower came about when the federal government decided to require that all TV be converted to digital format. This will, of course, drive up the price of TV sets, most of which are imported. Itís supposed to provide better picture quality to those who canít or donít get their TV via cable or dish. At the same time, KMOS-TV decided to improve their signal into central Missouri, where the only way to get PBS is by cable. After all, public TV is a basic right, isnít it?

At the same time, our county and city officials are forced to look for new ways to pay for emergency medical service. Their answer will probably be at least one new ambulance district (thatís a new property tax). And weíll probably vote for it because itís our lives and health that are at stake.

Remember that Warrensburg and Holden had to take over the ambulance service because private companies failed due to the same low Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements. Meanwhile, various levels of government seem to have enough money to support improved TV entertainment, not to mention a mostly-empty bus tooling around Warrensburg and new sports venues in Columbia and St. Louis.

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