Notwithstanding the political rhetoric emanating from Veronica Escobar and other politicians intimately involved in the children’s hospital fiasco, the fact is that the El Paso Children’s Hospital should file for bankruptcy. Even though the El Paso Times, masquerading as a newspaper, opines that the filing of a bankruptcy would be detrimental to the city, the fact is that a bankruptcy is exactly what this city needs.
Let’s look at facts.
The El Paso Children’s Hospital is unable to pay its bills. It has been in financial distress from the onset. As a matter of fact, everyone, including the politicians, the physicians and the local paper agree that the business model for the children’s hospital is unsustainable. Additionally, everyone universally agrees that the only feasible economic resolution is for the taxpayers of the community to pay the children’s hospital’s bills. In yesterday’s letter about the physicians’ perspective on the financial debacle, the doctors offered as the only solution to use federal and state funds. Those are tax dollars.
What the rhetoric conveniently ignores is that the money owed by the El Paso Children’s Hospital is already owed to the El Paso taxpayers as IOU’s to the University Medical Center (UMC). All of the solutions proffered to date involve keeping the children’s hospital as a stand-alone entity being funded by the taxpayers of the community. We already know that business model is untenable and as such, the children’s hospital will continue to be funded by the taxpayers of the city.
So why is it that the local paper and Veronica Escobar are so against the hospital filing for bankruptcy? It has nothing to do with the credit rating of the community as a whole but rather everything to do with keeping appearances.
It is very much like the bankrupt playboy that drives around in a Corvette but crashes on a different bed every night until friends get tired of his leeching and he is forced to find another borrowed bed to sleep on.
Let’s look at the latest information we have about the whole fiasco. Remember, although the taxpayers are footing the bills, everyone involved in this fiasco are working behind closed doors. We now know that UMC’s plan for funding the children’s hospital is using Medicare supplemental reimbursement for disproportionate share and uncompensated care funds. Escobar gleefully proclaims that there are various “buckets of money” that are available completing forgetting that the “buckets” of monies are taxpayer money! Yes, she used the term buckets of money!
UMC’s spokesman, Ryan Mielke, was quoted by KVIA on March 5, 2015 stating that the taxpayers would not burdened by UMC’s takeover of children’s.
This is after stating that the solution is to use Medicare money, money that comes from the taxpayers.
This is the type of world that the people driving this fiasco from the onset live in. A world where there are “buckets” of money for them to use. Medicare funding was the primary catalyst that was used for arguing that El Paso needed a stand-alone children’s hospital. Federal funds was going to rain and the community would be happy. Instead, the federal funds never came and the children’s hospital can’t pay its bills. The solution by Veronica Escobar is to trick you all once again with the promise of federal funds to save the day.
In addition, the solution that has been offered conveniently keeps the financial records of the children’s hospital way from public scrutiny. Let that sink in for a moment. Why is it that Veronica Escobar wants to keep finances secret?
A bankruptcy would not only eliminate the burden of the children’s hospital upon the taxpayers but it would also make its financial records a matter of the public record through the bankruptcy court.
Looking at these facts, ask yourself why would Veronica Escobar advocate keeping the children’s hospital out of bankruptcy? Because, it has everything to do with her political aspirations and nothing to do with the economic viability of an entity that will continuously be a drain on the taxpayers of the community.
Editor’s note : Another two physicians, Dr. Carlos Gutierrez and Dr. Donald Meier statements were made available to me. I will post them in a couple of hours.