Every now and then The Washington Post will produce an editorial that is so stupid and perplexing that it makes me long for the days of the Yarmouth Register or Cape Cod Times. My all-time favorite was an editorial lamenting the death of an eagle that lived by the Wilson Bridge. That was just silly. An editorial published today is much more troublesome.
The Post frets that the city could get ripped off when it sells off Greater Southeast Community Hospital to the highest bidder. Unfortunately for the city, there is only one bidder, Specialty Hospitals of America. That doesn't put us on great negotiating ground. Since the city doesn't want the only hospital in the city east of the Anacostia to close its doors, Fenty and the Council don't have a lot of options. So it should come as no surprise that Specialty Hospitals is asking for quite a bit to take the hopsital off of the city's hands. Here, "quite a bit" is a 59 million dollar loan. Interest free of course.
The Post feels like this is a bad deal. "But it's important that as Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) negotiates this deal, he protect the city's interests. A deal born of desperation is no good deal," says the Post.
Let's review. The city wants to keep the hospital open. The city has mismanaged hospitals so poorly in the past that a city takeover, in the words of the Post, "should not even be considered." There's only one company willing to take over the hospital's operations. Hmmm. I'd say the loan is pretty much a foregone conclusion. Do you have any suggestions, Post Editorial Board? Oh, you don't? Then I guess it's settled.
The problem with your "a deal born of desperation is no good deal" argument is that there are no other viable alternatives. I'll be psyched if some other companies fall out of the sky to bid on taking over Greater Southeast. But the status quo is what it is. There's a difference between "no good deal" and "the only deal that's available."
And a double fuck you to the Post Editorial Board for supporting the baseball stadium giveaway. How can one support paying $611,000,000 for a playground while opposing keeping open a motherfucking hospital at less than a tenth of the price!? And that "tenth of a price" is a FUCKING LOAN. If the hopsital suceeds, which everyone wants, we get the money back! Try cutting a better deal with the Lerners.
D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), chair of the committee on health, is right when he points to the millions of dollars the city has paid to help out developers, not to mention rich owners of sports teams. Ensuring access to high-quality health care for vulnerable people is no less a priority.
"No less a priority" implies that there could be equal priorities at play here. That's not the case. Keeping a hospital open in one of the poorest areas of the city is considerably more important than a new stadium. What I would give to live in a city where the newspaper's priorities are "hospitals > stadiums" instead of the other way around.