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AN OPEN LETTER FROM NINETEEN OF THE PAST TWENTY STUDENT BODY PRESIDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-AUSTIN IN SUPPORT OF PROPOSITION

1 AND A UT-AUSTIN MEDICAL SCHOOL

October 29, 2012 Dear Friends, We are writing this letter to ask you for your support for the creation of a UT-Austin medical school by voting in favor of Proposition 1 on the Travis County November ballot. Prop 1 calls for a 5-cent property tax increase per $100 valuation for Travis County residents. The resulting revenue will go to the Central Health District (our local healthcare district), and Central Health will use the funds to support the medical school and allow it to qualify for additional dollars through a federal matching program. As former UT Student Body Presidents, we care deeply about the future of our alma mater and the greater Austin community. The state constitution provides that the State of Texas shall ensure that UT-Austin maintain its status as a university of the first class; however, UTAustin is one of the only public institutions of its size in the country without a medical school. The creation of a medical school, working in collaboration with our already-existing undergraduate and graduate research programs, would quickly establish UT-Austin as a world leader in health sciences. In addition to bolstering the prestige of our alma mater, the creation of a medical school would have a tremendous economic impact on Central Texas. The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce estimates that the creation of a medical school would create more than 15,000 jobs and generate more than $2 billion in annual economic activity. A new medical school, coupled with Austins vibrant technology and engineering industries, would change the face of Central Texas. It would also directly benefit the health of community members. According to the Austin American Statesman, Indigent and uninsured patients 21 percent of Travis County residents lack health insurance would have greater access to routine and specialty care, a better quality of life and fewer costly emergency room visits. The entire community would benefit from having more doctors and health care services. The creation of a UT-Austin medical school has already engendered wide support from key stakeholders. The UT System Board of Regents has committed up to $30 million annually in support of the creation of a medical school, and Seton Healthcare Family, a Central Texas, nonprofit healthcare provider, has committed $250 million to build a new teaching hospital in conjunction with the medical school. In addition, Prop 1 has been endorsed by (i) community organizations such as the Real Estate Council of Austin, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and Austin Travis County EMS Association; (ii) UT-Austin organizations such as the Texas Exes and Student Government; and (iii) local media publications such as The Daily Texan, Austin Chronicle and the Austin American Statesman.

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The passage of Prop 1 would create an estimated $54 million dollars in revenue targeted towards the medical school and the treatment of needy Austinites provided by the faculty and students of UT-Austin. Further, for every tax dollar raised locally, Central Health could get a match of $1.46 in federal funds through the Medicare 1115 Waiver program. If Prop 1 fails to pass, over $120 million dollars in federal funds will go towards other communities that are making local investments, and the resulting loss of taxpayer revenue and federal funding would leave the future of a UT-Austin medical school in doubt. Please join us in supporting a UT-Austin medical school by voting in favor of Prop 1 and encourage your friends and families to support Prop 1 as well. For more information, please visit www.keepaustinhealthy.org. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Howard Nirken, Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, Andrew Solomon, Student Body President 92-93 Student Body President 99-00 Student Body President 07-08 Eric Bradley, Daron Roberts, Keshav Rajagopalan, Student Body President 93-94 Student Body President 00-01 Student Body President 08-09 John Scott Black, Matt Hammond, Liam ORourke, Student Body President 94-95 Student Body President 01-02 Student Body President 09-10 Katie King Ogden, Scott Parks, Sherry Boyles, Student Body President 95-96 Student Body President 02-03 Student Body President 10-11 Jeff Tsai, Brian Haley, Natalie Butler, Student Body President 96-97 Student Body President 03-04 Student Body President 11-12 Marlen Whitley, Brent Chaney, Student Body President 97-98 Student Body President 04-05 Annie Holand Miller, Danielle Rugoff, Student Body President 98-99 Student Body President 06-07

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