The subject of the Broadlands Regional Medical Center (BRMC) has been a contentious thorn in Loudoun’s side for over 5 years. I’ve written about it on and off for a year, myself. The issue is coming to a decision soon and it’s time to take a clear look at things.
Fact: the statewide agency responsible for looking at the need for new medical facilities issued a Certification of Public Need (COPN) for a new hospital back in 2003, now over 5 years ago. Now, what does that mean for us today? It means, simply put, that the population density of Loudoun County, specifically in the eastern part of the county, was sufficient to support another hospital. That was in 2003 and we’ve not lost any population since then. In fact, it’s been growing at a rate equal to or in excess of the growth rate of any other locality in the United States. In other words, if we could support another hospital in 2003, we can sure support one today. And we’re clearly way behind the average number of available beds:
Much has been made of the argument that the opposition advances that they’re not against another hospital in Loudoun, just that it shouldn’t go in the Broadlands location. They argue that the next hospital should be down south in the Route 50 corridor because that’s where a facility would offer more efficient coverage. That might be true, if the population density of Loudoun’s land mass was uniformly distributed. I’ve said it before: the approach of putting hospitals in locations such that the pins marking their spots on the map are evenly spaced with no regard to population density is a foolish method. The hospitals aren’t there to service “x” number of square miles of land. They exist to provide medical care to people and people don’t live evenly spaced across Loudoun County. The population in the South Riding area might, indeed, get to be high enough to support a hospital of their own some day. They aren’t there today and the Brambleton/Broadlands area is. Do we hold off for another 5 years, leaving these residents to have to negotiate jammed highways and a warren of neighborhood surface roads in order to get to medical care?
The argument that the BRMC is too close to Inova also fails the real world test. As I’ve already mentioned in the past, the distance between Reston Hospital and Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax is pretty close, too, and no one is arguing that either one is starving the other. The population density surrounding those 2 hospitals supports having them, plain and simple. We in Loudoun are in a similar situation and there’s no reason to think we can’t support both, too. The suggestion that having both in the positions they’re in would cause one or even both to fail is a scare tactic.
Also a scare tactic is the suggestion that allowing the BRMC to be built would cause other healthcare facilities to not be built or even existing ones to close. First, it’s impossible for anyone to claim that if South Riding were to suddenly grow to the same density as Sterling that no one would support having a hospital there. Ridiculous. Of course it would be supported. It’s nothing more than an attempt to spook people into saying no. Ditto the concept that the existence of the BRMC would require the closure of Cornwall in Leesburg.
That last one about Cornwall is a fascinating statement by Inova. They claim they might not be able to support it. Curious that an entity with $2 billion in reserve and a $21 million annual profit reported might consider themselves unable to continue to support the facility. Sounds more like a veiled threat to me: “Nice medical center ya got there. Be a shame if something were to happen to it. Supporting that hospital those other guys are trying to build might, you know, make something happen to it.” Besides, it’s a moot point. HCA has already promised to step up and support Cornwall should Inova find themselves unable.
Children’s National Medical Center has committed to bring world-class pediatrics to BRMC. Inova has fine pediatrics, too, but when an outfit of the credentials of Children’s signs on board, that says something about the commitment the associated hospital is showing.
Competition is a good thing, too. There’s been much made by Inova of the services they offer and they’re quick to point out they offer services BRMC has committed. That’s true – now. Before the BRMC made their application there were plenty of services Inova didn’t offer. They didn’t start adding those services until they were faced with incoming competition. Now, perhaps they would have gotten around to adding those services anyway. But perhaps not, and they likely would have taken a lot longer than they did. The competition from another hospital, even one that wasn’t built yet, put the pressure on them to start offering the medical services the community needed.
Our local economy badly needs new business and that’s where the for-profit nature of HCA’s BRMC would be a benefit, not the boogeyman issue Inova claims it is. BRMC is estimated to bring in 600 new jobs, $4 million a year in tax revenue, and $14 million in road and infrastructure improvements. A hospital is supposed to be more than a tax generator, but Loudoun needs the jobs and they need the money. Having the new hospital would also attract supporting services which would also bring in jobs and tax revenue, all without the impact of additional residential growth. And BRMC is committed to completing LEED certification to make sure their facility is a minimal impact to the environment.
The pros and cons have been bandied about for years, now, and while that’s happened more Loudouners have had more need for more medical facilities here in the county. The arguments against are little more than scare tactics and misrepresentations. We need this and we needed it yesterday. The Loudoun Board of Supervisors should vote to approve the BRMC and allow this building to start. Let’s get this going and turn to the other issues facing us.
Yeah, this will certainly boost those approval ratings. Good manners, Mr. President, mocking your new neighbors for being softies over not wanting to drive on ice. Smooth.
President Obama’s mere mention of Rush Limbaugh was an amateur mistake, elevating the status of a political foe while diminishing his own. It provided Limbaugh with a golden opportunity to shine a larger-than-normal spotlight on the flaws in the President’s agenda and giving him reach into audiences he normally cannot gather. Limbaugh wasted no time, responding to the comment and taking full advantage of the opening given him on his show Monday. The Democrats have chosen to repeat the error, this time by launching a petition against Limbaugh for “saying he wanted President Obama to ‘fail.’”
For a group of people so swift to dismiss the concerns of opponents by saying they’re purposely twisting the context of what one of theirs says at a given moment, they’re sure happy to commit the same offense. Limbaugh doesn’t want Obama’s agenda items – fiscal, security, or social – to be enacted. That’s what he means by hoping the President fails. And is that really a surprise to anyone? Hey, I don’t want many – most, in fact – of Obama’s initiatives to be enacted. I don’t want him to fail so badly that I’ll gladly watch Americans get killed in terror attacks and I won’t make barely-veiled calls for someone to assassinate him like people did with President Bush. But do I want him to fail badly in his various big-government programs? You betcha I do.
But there are people making that point far better than I and one of them is RWJ over at Breitbart. His post is pure gold:
As someone who did not vote for President Obama, I don’t want to be lumped in with the haters, so here is a list of examples showing just how much I support our President:
- I support him as much as Code Pink supports our troops.
- I support him as much as N.O.W. supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
- I support him as much as the Hollywood community supported Theo Van Gogh.
- I support him as much as Nancy Pelosi supports the Catholic Church’s teachings on life.
- I support him as much as Al Gore supports cutting down on his personal carbon footprint to save the world.
And it just gets better from there. Read the whole list of 12 for yourself and enjoy.
President Obama has asserted that there was “no disagreement” that, to fix the economy, a recovery plan of action (and that’s action by the government, mind you) was necessary. There’s no doubt he meant exactly what he’s currently proposing: a massive spending spree by the government. Apparently, the assertion was a little – shall we say? – overstepping of the reality. According to Bearing Drift, a slew of economists are involved in taking out full-page ads in major newspapers today stating that the stimulus package being proposed is absolutely not the way to get our economy jumpstarted again. From the ad:
It is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.
Have a look at the ad. The people signing on are neither few in number nor weak in credentials. We don’t take medical advice from strangers on the streets and we don’t let every bag-boy from the grocery store re-wire our houses. We rely on professionals who have the education and experience. Why are we content to let politicians unilaterally decide the best economic moves to make to get us out of this mess? We should demand that knowledgable voices be heard and their advice considered carefully in this debate.
How does the man do that? Al Gore was expected to be in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today to tell them that this whole fiscal crisis, the “stimulus” package, the continued national security efforts, and all of that are pretty much just distractions from the real issue: global warming. He’s going to have a tough time getting there this morning, however, since DC is working its way through the 1st real snow storm of the 2008-2009 winter.
OK, so DC considers an accumulation of 2-4 inches as a “snow storm.” I know some people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio that would consider that a “dusting.” Semantics aside, the way DC’s, Maryland’s, and Virginia’s snow removal handles it, 2-4 inches is a snow storm here. The real bear this morning, however, was what followed the snow storm: an ice storm. Oh, yes, we got ice and freezing rain all night. My front porch has a ½ inch of ice on it right now. I can drive in snow. No one drives on ice. Not well and not for long, in any case.
The Gore Effect is bad enough. It’s worse that he’s continuing to preach this crap in the face of conclusive evidence that the data he used to produce that stunningly bad movie of his and that he’s relied upon for his argumentation is flawed beyond belief. The science – the real science – is starting to get through to the public and more of them now believe that the climate changes we’re seeing have more to do with planetary trends than human action. Gore is starting to sound like those college professors that blatantly tell you that you need to spend way more time on their classwork than any other class you’re taking because, of course, their class is just way more important than any of those others. The trouble came when you had more than 1 prof telling you that in the same semester. Kind of like now, when we have Gore on global warming, others on the bailout money, still others worried about “America’s international image.”
Good luck with that global warming thing, Al. I’m sure the Senators won’t miss what’s happening outside the windows as you’re speaking.
Well, you can’t fault Iran’s Ahmadinejad’s reading of the PC playbook. Hyping criticism of Iran’s nuclear ambitions – to say nothing of the explicitly-stated goal of wiping Isreal “off the map” – into a “crime” against Iran is just what one would expect of some PC-nut here in the US. That does not, however, make for a compelling argument for demanding the US apologize to them. Iran’s still not apologized for taking US citizens hostage and holding them, in violation of any reading of international law, for 444 days. If they can be excused for holding grudges against the Isrealis for centuries then they should be held liable for what they did a few decades ago.
Jumping on the Obama bandwagon, he also is demanding “change.” That’d be the “change” of having the US cut off support of Isreal (and we know why they want us to do that) as well as dropping any participation in any action Iran doesn’t like. I’m not sure he got the message of friendliness Obama tried to foster by granting his 1st TV interview to an Arab station. Sounds like he got a message that we’re going to sit on our hands and not defend any of our interests for a while. Hope not.