On November 2, 2010 in the State of Georgia we voted and on the ballot was a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would institute a $10 fee each time you renewed your car tag. The proceeds generate would have been used solely for the improvement and expansion of Georgia’s heavily underdeveloped Trauma Care Network. This would primarily be accomplished through building, equipping, and developing trauma centers. The first sixty minutes after after trauma is critical to the survival of the victim. If you were severely injured in Atlanta, Ga your chances of surviving a severe injury are much greater than if you in other areas of the state such as Adel, Ga. Deaths from trauma injuries in Georgia are 20 percent higher than the national average because access to trauma care is severely limited.
I voted no for this amendment. I battled mentally with this decision for the two weeks leading up to the election. Clearly the development of the Trauma Care Network is a good thing. It will save lives. My vote was based upon a principal that I believe actions such as these should be accomplished through the private sector, through charity, not through another tax levied by our state government. It’s a popular opinion right now to oppose government spending, almost regardless the purpose of the expenditure, and say the free market or private sector should address the issue and would do so if allowed in a much more efficient and effective manner. I don’t need the government to tell me to do it, I will take personal responsibility to do it. This is where the rubber meets the road. If I espouse such a believe then my actions should support it. I want Georgia’s Trauma Care Network to improve because one day it may be my wife, my daughter, a family member, a friend, or even me who will need the care and I want it to be of the highest quality. Therefore, my personal responsibility is to help build the network.
The primary resource constraint on it’s development is money. Unfortunately, you can not wait until you need trauma care to gather up the funds to develop a trauma center. That can not be done in 60 minutes. It requires foresight and sacrifice now. But this is my money. I work hard for it. Charity is a nice thing to speak about but it has a price. The price can be money, time, food, etc. That principal I bantered about earlier is a little more painful. It requires that I sacrifice my resources. Anything worthwhile has a cost. Do I truly believe in this principal and am I willing to pay the cost or is this a convenient, popular excuse to keep the government out of my life and keep more of my resources for my enjoyment?
With my conscience weighing heavy upon me I went out in search of an avenue to support the development of this network and to my amazement I was unable to find a way to donate. There were sites that you could donate in support of the amendment to the constitution but after hours of searching for a way to donate directly to the Trauma Centers I was unable to find any such avenue. I even went so far as to contact several of the hospitals with Trauma Centers via email but never received a response. As such, the end of this blog is not where I anticipated I would be. Desiring to support a worthy cause but as of yet unable to do so. I plan to continue pursuing this and will report back when I have an answer.
Here is a link to the Georgia Trauma Centers.