It appears the sale of the Mission hospital system is complete. May one suggest this will go down as one of the greatest political cons in our community’s history?
In scope, it compares with the ill-advised, Democratically led, but bipartisan-supported effort [circa 2005] to steal Asheville’s water system. The media have been similarly complicit in echoing the talking points of this plan’s marketing agents instead of more sincere investigative reporting. We’ve been getting a lot on what’s going to happen — very little on why it’s going to happen.
In truth, the loss of control of our hospital could be a good thing. Although going from first string to third is a curious measure of progress, Mission has been marching toward disaster for years. Don’t believe that hospital administrators and board members walk away from success.
Abuses by our city’s army of illegal aliens, drug entrepreneurs and other folks evading the responsibility of carrying their own weight; chronic Medicare and Medicaid underfunding by “promise something for nothing” politicians; government hypercontrol; and dare we say questionable administration have secured failure.
On that latter point, the people running the show at Mission have been shamefully culpable in failing to publicly declare their hurdles on a more timely and transparent basis.
Making it this long can be tracked in large part to a practice of chronic understaffing. Staffing problems are normal in emergent situations — staff shortages day after day, year after year, department after department evolve into undeclared policy. The resulting savings — substantial in scope — have helped prop up this sick patient.
So, where will it all land now that it appears the sale has gone through? Most assuredly, past sins like those noted above will be lost in the tangles of a switch from nonprofit to for-profit status.
We will have thus been witness to an equivalent process whereby the New England Patriots were traded for the Cleveland Browns. Though both wear uniforms and play football, how they play is different. It will take a few seasons to realize the folly of this exchange.
— Carl Mumpower