Montgomery County Executive Leggett considers ambulance fee bill
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett proposed a bill that would charge a fee for ambulance rides to the hospital. Opponents of Leggett’s proposal are concerned that residents will hesitate to call 911 in an emergency, but Leggett argues there’s no evidence people hold back in neighboring counties who have similar fees. Under the proposal, insurance companies will get billed, not the individuals.
“If you have insurance in Montgomery County, you are paying for this cost. The customers are already paying for it. They’re paying for it right now. We just don’t have a way to collect it,” Leggett said to WTOP in April. “If we are not able to come up with additional revenues, and if we’re not able to reduce the budget to that point, we’re going to have to find another way to do this.” With the fees, about $17 million would be produced per year, but without the fees, the county executive says he would have to cut $11 million from the budget. In 2010, residents in the county rejected ambulance fees in a referendum. The County Council’s Public Safety committee is set to discuss the proposal on Tuesday, May 15.