Four rural hospitals have closed under Gov. Nathan Deal’s watch and today he finally announced this three-part plan:
- Cut even more services to rural hospitals
- Make someone else responsible
- Form a committee
We’re not kidding.
This is his real plan.
To show we’re not making this up, we’ll quote the official press release.
1. Cut even more services to rural hospitals.
“Deal is implementing changes to the rules and regulations affecting licensure for hospitals. These modifications will permit rural hospitals to offer fewer services if they are in danger of closing or if they have closed within the past year.”
2. Make someone else responsible.
“To increase the flow of communication between hospitals and the state, Deal is designating an employee within the Department of Community Health to serve as a point person for rural hospitals.”
3. Form a committee.
“He will establish a Rural Hospitals Stabilization Committee to identify needs of the rural hospital community and provide potential solutions.”
Cutting services is not a solution. Naming a ‘point-person’ is not a solution. Forming a government committee is not a solution.
Federal money is available that would provide insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of working Georgians and provide a critical income stream for some of the state’s most threatened hospitals.
Gov. Deal doesn’t need a government panel or a point-person to save Georgia’s hospitals. All he needs is his pen. His signature today could bring money back to Georgia that we have already paid in federal taxes.
Instead, Gov. Deal has a different policy: cut services, make someone else responsible and form a committee.
This isn’t leadership.
It’s simply irresponsible.