Back when the children's hospital was going to a vote I was on the radio every day and fighting the battle alone. Everybody thought the new children's hospital was an amazing idea... well not the other hospitals in town that were providing the same services and had a bunch of empty beds to show for it. I had a lot of people trying to convince me of not only how great UMC was, but how great the childrens' hospital would be.
I had Jim Valenti on my radio show and he fed me the talking points all the UMC fans fed me - "we're in the black, and there to stay." I questioned how a public entity that is given $50 million plus at the beginning of each year without having to provide any service could be considered "running in the black." Any private company would love having a giant check written into their bank account at the beginning of each year - it would be literally "free money" for them. However, anyone analyzing their business for profitability would discount the free money part and focus on dollars for service.
If anyone looked at the hospital's numbers back then minus the cash taxpayers put in... well... they'd see they weren't in the black.
I asked Valenti to think about the future and what might he do with the excess dollars he had. I suggested he write a check back to taxpayers for the surplus. He laughed that off, as you would expect.
I now wonder where that surplus money went. In such a short time they went from Google to Enron... how?
I saw it coming.
The solution is to sell the whole thing off to a hospital group and let them take the risks. Taxpayers can't be on the hook for this hospital.