'The Washington Post': DC officials should consider better alternatives to $300M hospital

Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University suspended negotiations to manage a new hospital, and in response, The Washington Post's editorial board called on GWU officials to consider alternative ways to meet local health needs.

Here are four takeaways:

1. The local government's tentative agreement with GWU Hospital to build a $300 million hospital was "politically driven," the editorial board said. GWU Hospital would manage and own the new hospital, which would replace United Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

2. The D.C. Council imposed new conditions on the partnership that brought GWU Hospital's participation into question. The editorial board said the council's "ignorance — or utter disregard — of the realities of running a business in the city" was a good thing for taxpayers.

3. The Post's editorial board said inpatient facilities are being replaced by outpatient clinics, freestanding emergency rooms and same-day surgery centers across the country.

"Imagine what could be achieved if that $300 million were dedicated to preventive care, enhanced maternity and infant health programs, improved mental-health services and other programs that have shown to be successful elsewhere," the authors said.

4. The board called on the mayor and council "to open their eyes to other — and better — alternatives" to the new hospital.

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