DC Council boosts subsidy for public hospital after protests to protect funding

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The District of Columbia City Council on May 28 approved a $22.1 million operating subsidy for United Medical Center, the city's only public hospital, according to The Washington Post.

The council seeks to close the hospital, which has been receiving taxpayer subsidies, within four years.

The council previously approved a $15 million subsidy for the upcoming fiscal year, but that amount was increased to $22.1 million after representatives from the D.C. Nurses Association and community activists pressured the city to protect the United Medical Center funding, the Post reported.

Elissa Silverman was one of 10 council members who voted to bump the subsidy up to $22.1 million. According to the Post, she said the lower subsidy would have negatively affected "some of our poorest, sickest residents" who access the hospital.

But critics of the hospital reportedly said poor financial management has been an issue at United Medical Center.

Council member Vincent C. Gray, who opposed the larger subsidy, said, "We can't continue to write a blank check for what we have before us," according to the Post.

 

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