Tag Archives: ECMC

The Hospital Business

12 Dec

When Chris Collins said that Erie County was out of the hospital business, he was being deceitful – in this year’s case, to the tune of $23.8 million.  That figure would have been $40 million, but for a credit that the hospital is holding to the county’s credit.

It may be a tough nut, and depending on to whom you listen, it may  be fair and lawful. But it’s a huge subsidy that goes disproportionately to assist poor families in a poor county, and the county remains decidedly in the “hospital business” as long as the payouts continue.

Erie County 2010

2 Jan

A new county legislature takes shape this week, culminating in the reorganization slated for January 7th.  The real story involves the intense wheeling and dealing taking place behind the scenes among all the players in county government – some old, some new.  While County Executive Chris Collins seeks a more pliant and compliant legislature, lawmakers wrangle over who will be the chair and help set the legislative agenda for the next two years.  Deals are being cut – favors being owed and called in – so that certain individuals’ power is magnified.  2010 promises to be a very interesting and volatile year, electorally.

Stachowski and Volker.  Lee, Higgins, Slaughter.  Governor of the State of New York.  All of this is playing out during a time of acute economic and political insecurity.  The problems that beset Washington are mostly amplified by facile, knee-jerk partisanship.  (I don’t think partisanship is bad, per se, but one ought pick one’s battle, not treat everything as one.)  Uniquely, however, the problems that affect New York State transcend partisanship.  Neither party in Albany can stake a claim to virtue or excellence.

With the Albany races, it is indeed important to throw the bums out, but be wary of the bums you replace them with.

But 2010 started out on a very positive note.  The leadership of Erie County and ECMC did a very excellent thing in executing an agreement to settle once and for all what the county owes ECMC in any given year, and also to build a new Erie County Home closer to the city.

For once, business and political leaders set aside their differences and saw each other’s point of view, and in so doing they forged an alliance that will benefit the public at large.

That’s how it’s supposed to work.  Here’s to more of the same.