Georgians will be asked to make many important decisions on Nov. 2. Federal, state and local leaders are all asking for support, communities are deciding local issues, and there will be a number of statewide referenda on which to vote.
Without a doubt, one of the most important questions on the ballot this year is the one posed by Amendment 2. Simply put, it asks if you are willing to spend $10 a year to save hundreds of lives — maybe even your own.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is proud to be part of a coalition of businesses, civic groups, health care providers, emergency responders and Georgia citizens supporting this important effort.
Every day, Georgians risk dying or lifelong suffering from traumatic injuries because they cannot get the specialized care they need in the case of a serious accident on the highway, in the workplace, or in their homes. Why? Because while a state of our size and population needs at least 30 certified trauma centers, today there are only 16.
Trauma centers provide specialized treatment for serious, life-threatening injuries that is not available in an ordinary emergency room. Treatment that if received within the “golden hour” of 60 minutes for an adult or 30 minutes for a child can mean the difference between life and death.
The good news is that, unlike many of the problems our state faces today, this one has a clear solution — the creation of a dedicated, sustainable funding source through the passage of Amendment 2.
The $10 tag fee that voters will be asked to approve is an individual insurance policy for top-quality trauma care — the kind of specialized treatment you would want for your family, your employees or yourself if you were in a serious accident.
It is important to know that the money raised by Amendment 2 cannot be spent for any other purpose. The funds collected, an estimated $80 million each year, will be administered by the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission, a team of medical professionals charged with building an effective statewide network of trauma facilities. The fact that this measure is a constitutional amendment gives voters a guarantee that funds will always be used appropriately.
Every area of our state will benefit from this new funding source. Whether for new facilities, updated equipment, or qualified personnel, Amendment 2 will make lifesaving resources available to all Georgians.
We urge all voters to say yes to Amendment 2 this November. Your vote could literally save your life.
George Israel is president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Yes 2 Save Lives campaign. For more information about Amendment 2, visit www.yes2savelives.com.