There are some of you that still do not believe me about what I believe to be Veronica Escobar’s end game with the El Paso Children’s Hospital. As you know, I believe that Escobar wants to keep the hospital as a separate private entity while having direct control over its budget. Keeping it a separate entity allows it to make budget decisions without public scrutiny. As a private entity, it is not subject to open records requests. Keeping it beholden to UMC allows it to use your tax dollars for operating expenses.
Sadly, no news media has asked any difficult questions of Escobar. The simplest and most important question that should have been asked is why does the El Paso Children’s Hospital pay rent on a building that you, the taxpayer, paid for? The bonds that paid for the building are tax-supported bonds. The reason the news media allows this unspoken truth to lie silent is because it would destroy the whole façade of what Veronica Escobar has created, a vehicle funded by your tax dollars that is not accountable to you.
It is the perfect scenario, keep the expenditures of monies away from public scrutiny through open records requests while using taxpayer monies. I am sure you know that almost anyone using taxpayer funds would love that scenario. This is the structure that the El Paso Children’s Hospital is using.
Notice the “public frustration” Veronica Escobar has with the possibility of a bankruptcy filing by the children’s hospital. Escobar acknowledged through her public relations outlet, the El Paso Times pretending to be a newspaper that the bankruptcy “would have ripple effects on the Children’s Hospital’s workforce, its patients, the Paul Foster School of Medicine and the community in general,” adding that “it would put a black eye on all” of them.
Clearly, the other issue driving Veronica Escobar is the political posturing around the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Escobar has been very public about the place the El Paso Children’s Hospital has in the public agenda she is driving. Politically, if El Paso Children’s Hospital files for bankruptcy it will reflect directly on Veronica Escobar’s political persona she has been cultivating.
Remember, according to Veronica Escobar, the solution to El Paso’s future lies in the expenditure of public monies to create a vibrant economy. Spend and the money will flow has been her mantra. The first cornerstone of this notion was the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Against those that pointed out the fallacy of that business model, Escobar and cohorts pushed forth arguing that those opposed were against El Paso’s future.
A bankruptcy filing will not only expose the ugly truth about the finances but it will also ruin Veronica Escobar’s end game. The problem for Escobar with the bankruptcy filing, besides the political fallout is that all of the hospital’s finances will enter the public realm. The secrets would be exposed. Even worse for Escobar is that the vehicle for incubating and keeping political allies funded, like Susie Byrd, would end.
The bankruptcy would kill the end game that Veronica Escobar is so desperately trying to keep.