Today, the El Paso Times and KVIA (actually published late yesterday) ran two stories about UMC and the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Comparing both news reports clearly shows how Bob Moore runs cover for Veronica Escobar and cohorts.
Let us start with KVIA’s report titled “El Paso county [sic] warns of impending UMC tax hike”. The article did not include a byline. KVIA reports on a court filing made “last week” where the County argues that it “does not believe it to be credible for the Fiscal 2016 Budget of UMC to include those projected ‘revenues’ from EPCH.” KVIA also reported that children’s has admitted, through court filings, that it is currently operating on a $2.1 million loss.
KVIA’s report clearly states that UMC cannot count on children’s making any payments and therefore it is likely it will be forced to raise taxes in order to balance the budget for the next fiscal year.
Also, notice that Veronica Escobar, or any other county officials for that matter, were not quoted in KVIA’s report.
Now let us contrast that news report with Bob Moore’s El Paso Times masquerading as a newspaper.
In “UMC of El Paso proposes $587M budget” by Aileen Flores, no mention of the court filings acknowledging that children’s is unlikely to make any payments in 2016 is made. Instead, the report focuses on the proposed budget and how the increases are “primarily in salaries,” a classic distraction of refocusing the bad news to something the community would embrace, higher salaries for employees.
The article extensively quotes Veronica Escobar starting with how the “numbers could change” because of the court case and pointing out that UMC’s budget presentation is “very preliminary,” again, because of the bankruptcy court cases.
The newspaper report then jumps into the court hearings expected for tomorrow but completely ignores the court filings that clearly shows El Paso Children’s Hospital is incapable of making any meaningful payments.
As a matter of fact, the report states “UMC expects to collect at least $5.2 million out of $26 million from El Paso Children’s Hospital for services and rent.”
The newspaper then attributes this quote to Veronica Escobar; “But even if the judge does not grant UMC the right to present a plan, there is only a certain amount of time that the Children’s Hospital has before it runs out of cash. And then what happens? Well, UMC is the largest creditor and UMC might acquire it.”
You can clearly see that no mention is made by the newspaper that the County itself, through court filings has stated that it does not “believe it to be credible” to include projected revenues from the children’s hospital. I do not know if Veronica Escobar is aware of the county’s legal filings making this statement but the fact remains that there are two very distinct representations being made to the public.
In one, the KVIA version, the elected officials are not quoted and the information presented as facts show that UMC cannot and should not expect to be paid by children’s in 2016 and thus a tax increase is in the works.
In Bob Moore’s newspaper, pertinent and important facts are not presented and Veronica Escobar is quoted throughout creating an illusion that not all is as bad as everyone believes and that raises are in the works for UMC employees and that UMC may end up being owned by UMC.
Clearly, these are two contrasting news reports of the same issue on two related events going on today and tomorrow.
Now ask yourself, which is the more credible report based on that fact that El Paso Children’s Hospital is in bankruptcy. I believe you will agree with me that KVIA is likely the more honest report of the two.