Community Action Day
Thursday, November 29, 11:00 am
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
A broad-based coalition of stakeholders, including neighborhood groups from Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, residents of the District’s Wards 7 and 8, unions, and public health experts, have joined together to oppose B22-0959, the East End Health Equity Act of 2018. The coalition believes that the bill, which eliminates the Certificate of Need process for both a new hospital in Ward 8 and a 270-bed hospital tower in Ward 2, removes transparency and accountability from a badly needed infrastructure project that involves $300 million in taxpayer funding.
The Council of the District of Columbia passed the bill on November 13, with an 11-2 vote. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans opposed the bill. The coalition is planning a community action day for Thursday, November 29, in advance of the bill’s second reading, set for Tuesday, December 4. The Community Action Day will take place at the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, beginning at 10:00 am.
The Certificate of Need process is designed to combat duplication of services, unnecessary infrastructure, and the rampant health-care inflation that is bankrupting people and businesses across the city and the country. Since the law was passed in the 1970s, the District of Columbia has required that any proposal for additional hospital beds be subjected to a detailed analysis, conducted in partnership with the city and local community, examining the general need, benefits, feasibility, and impact of such infrastructure. No project of this size has ever been exempted before.
“The need for a new hospital in the East End is clear”, said Commissioner William Kennedy Smith, Chair of ANC 2A, “but, by far, the biggest hospital proposed in this bill is located in Foggy Bottom. What’s the connection? That is a good question and one the Certificate of Need process is designed to answer. This bill eliminates it.” Marina Streznewski, President of the Foggy Bottom Association (FBA) said, “Healthcare projects must be carefully and clearly planned to make sure the District is meeting the needs of East End residents in the most effective way. The Certificate of Need process is a critical part of that.”