From: Diane C. Russell <email@example.com>
Date: Apr 5, 2007 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: [PG-Politics] Ultimatum Issued on Hospital, Accept State-Run Authority or Shut Down, O'Malley Says
To: PG-Politics@googlegroups.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, PrinceGeorges_Discussion@yahoogroups.com, ArthurTurner <email@example.com >
Note the last sentence in the Post article: "The state provided $32.5 million to Prince George's Hospital Center from 2000 to 2007. During the same time, it gave $331 million to hospitals in Baltimore, including Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical System, state official say."
Why the double standard? Why do Baltimore hospitals get 10 times as much in subsides?
Seems to me that if the state wants to take over control the hospital, they should also assume complete responsibility for financing it. As it is, our Prince George's County delegation seems to want to give the state control, but leave us with the financial burden. That's not right or fair!
In my opinion, it would be better for the hospital to file for bankruptcy, and let a receiver sort things out under a judge's supervision. If we in Prince George's County must for something controlled by someone else, I have more confidence in the bankruptcy court than in either our state bureaucrats or pro-tax, pro-Baltimore legislators.
Ultimatum Issued on Hospital
Accept State-Run Authority or Shut Down, O'Malley Says
Thursday, April 5, 2007; Page B07
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley issued Prince George's Executive Jack B. Johnson and the County Council an ultimatum yesterday: Agree to a long-term solution for the county's financially troubled hospital system, or it shuts down.
O'Malley (D) sent a letter yesterday to Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt (D) and Del. Barbara A. Frush (D), the chairs of the Prince George's Senate and House delegations, seeking their support for legislation to create a state-appointed authority to oversee reform of the hospital system.
O'Malley presented a supplemental budget yesterday that included $20 million that would be used either as the first installment of an effort to save Prince George's Hospital Center or, if county officials reject the proposal for an authority, a final payment toward its "orderly closure."
The supplemental budget puts pressure on the county to accept the state's offer to turn around the failing system. It comes as talks have stalled and as the hospital continues to run out of money.
"We have five days to save the Prince George's Hospital System," O'Malley wrote, referring to the end of the 90-day session Monday. "And Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and I are determined to do everything we can to solve this problem."
Under the plan offered by O'Malley, the state would provide $176.7 million over the next eight years, or 44 percent of the money needed to save the ailing hospital system. Health Secretary John M. Colmers said $56 million of that amount will come from hospital rate increases. The money would be distributed by the hospital authority, a majority of whose members would be appointed by the governor and legislature.
The county would be responsible for the other 56 percent, or $227.7 million.
Johnson (D) declined to comment on the state's offer yesterday.
Prince George's council chairwoman Camille Exum (D-Seat Pleasant) said through a spokeswoman that O'Malley's plan is "unacceptable" because the "lion's share of the responsibility belongs with the state," not the county.
She has said Prince George's residents should not have to bear so much of the financial burden of fixing a financially troubled institution that serves patients from across the region. She said the county is prepared to coordinate with the state for the hospital system's closure if necessary.
County officials have argued that the state has provided more money to Baltimore hospitals than it has to the Prince George's center.
The state provided $32.5 million to Prince George's Hospital Center from 2000 to 2007. During the same time, it gave $331 million to hospitals in Baltimore, including Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical System, state official say.