Supervisors Vote to Resurrect MLK Hospital
Today the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to fully reopen Martin Luther
Of course, no supervisor or any other politician in his or her right mind is claiming today's vote represents a return to the old status quo. As the Associated Press reports: "Under the plan, the county will provide more than $350 million in funds to rebuild the hospital and a master-planned health community surrounding it, while the University of California will staff the hospital and oversee its medical care. The hospital would be administered through a private, nonprofit organization with county and UC officials on its board."
It's probably safe to say there will be far more oversight on the day-to-day operations of the new hospital, which is badly needed in South L.A., when it eventually opens its doors. Resurrecting King has been the driving ambition of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas since his election last November and he is calling for it to happen sometime in 2012. In a press release issued today, Ridley-Thomas is quoted declaring, "Time is of the essence. This board will be resolute in its message to the UC Regents. The ball is in the university's court. Let's do the right thing."
"Do the right thing" has too often been political shorthand for "spend now, ask questions later," and today's vote is only the first step in what will be a very long and complicated process to return quality health care to South Los Angeles. If anything, the ball is going to remain very much in the Board of Supervisors' court for some time.