Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hillary Clinton vs. Christine Quinn

The story that seems to have been intentionally leaked, or planted in The New York Times, that Mayor Michael Bloomberg approached Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for mayor in 2013 is full of half-truths. First, it was an attempt to saddle Mrs. Clinton in another public office, so that she would not run for president in 2016, a win for Republicans. Second, it was an attempt to make it appear that Mayor Bloomberg was not so invested in electioneering machinations to clear the Democratic Primary field for the mayoralty, so that Speaker Christine Quinn could have an easier time at winning, because, as we all know, the only way that she can win is if a billionaire Republican with his own Super PAC would interfere with the election process.

From The Wall Street Journal :

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg organized an awkward show of unity with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, standing side by side at a press conference Tuesday following reports that he had discussed next year’s mayoral race with Hillary Clinton.

Quinn, of course, is the mayor’s political ally and the potential candidate widely viewed as his favored successor. Bloomberg on Tuesday didn’t confirm or deny a report in the New York Times that he has sought to lure Clinton into the race.

When asked why he recommended that the current U.S. secretary of state consider running for mayor, Bloomberg replied: “Why do you think I encouraged Hillary Clinton to run for mayor? I mean, were you — did you hear me say that?”

“I have run for mayor three times, successfully each one,” he added. “I considered a fourth. Chris [Quinn] and I talked about it. She kept urging me to do it. But I said, ‘No. It’s enough.’ ”

The mayor was joking about running for a fourth term. As he did so, Quinn made a face and motioned with her hand to suggest Bloomberg was talking crazy.

In 2008, Quinn reversed her position on term limits and persuaded her colleagues in the City Council to overturn the law, paving the way for the Bloomberg to run for a third term in 2009. As she pursues an expected mayoral campaign in 2013, her position on term limits will certainly be brought up by her opponents.

On Tuesday morning, however, Bloomberg focused more on extolling Quinn’s leadership. He said her role in the council had been a major factor in his success at City Hall.

The two politicians were speaking at a news conference marking the ground breaking at a 26-acre development on Manhattan’s West Side. During the mayor’s first term in office, he attempted unsuccessfully to win approval to build a stadium at this location — marking one of his biggest setbacks. Quinn, who was not yet speaker, fought aggressively against the stadium.

Bloomberg did not dwell on that Tuesday. “This woman has made an enormous difference in this city,” he said of Quinn. “She’s a leader and I have nothing but respect for her.”

When asked if he’s dissatisfied with the current crop of mayoral candidates, the mayor said: “I don’t know who’s going to run. But if you want to start a fight between me and Chris Quinn, you’re not going to do it. It’s cheap, lousy journalism.”

For her part, Quinn said she thought Clinton would make an excellent mayor. Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, is planning to step down as secretary of state next year and is being discussed as a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2016.

“You know, I think Hillary Clinton would excel in any position she ever takes. And why do I say that? Because she has,” Quinn said. “I don’t think there’s anything Hillary Clinton would put her mind to that she wouldn’t do extremely, extremely well — better than maybe anybody else who’s ever done it.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Interfaith Files For Bankruptcy, May Become Tenth Hospital To Close Under Christine Quinn

Interfaith Medical Center Filed For Bankruptcy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo empaneled a consulting group called the Medicaid Redesign Team headed by investment banker Stephen Berger. The last consulting group headed by Mr. Berger came to be known as the Berger Commission. The tasks of both groups was the same : to identify hospitals to close down, so that New York State could implement cuts to the state's healthcare budget.

In the latest development, Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn filed for bankruptcy. The Medicaid Redesign Team has identified three hospitals in Brooklyn, which serve uninsured and underinsured patients for closing ; one of these was Interfaith.

How the Cuomo administration plans to carry out the closings is to merge the financially unstable hospitals together in some combinations, so that that the hospitals can hemorrhage money faster, so that they can end up collapsing under the weight of their combined debts.

Interfaith officials told The New York Times that turning over operational control to Brooklyn Hospital without the state’s first promising the financing needed to keep Interfaith going would be tantamount to a covert plan to close Interfaith in a year and a half or so.

A similar money-losing arrangement was made between a string of hospitals lead by St. Vincent's, which lead to the financial collapse of each hospital : St. Vincent's, St. Johns Queens Hospital, and Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Because the Medicaid Redesign Team's sole purpose has been to make even deeper cuts to the state's healthcare budget, Gov. Cuomo's austerity plan is responsible for the bankruptcy filing. In letters to state officials, Nathan M. Barotz, the chairman of Interfaith's board of trustees, has said that a 2010 cut in Medicaid reïmbursement rates cost Interfaith 40 percent of its inpatient revenue and precipitated its current crisis.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, so many New York City hospitals endured damage. There is a shortage of functioning hospitals right now.

One hospital executive, Michael Dowling, is trying to profit from the disaster that Hurricane Sandy has caused to his competition. Mr. Dowling is head of the parent-holding company of Lenox Hill Hospital. Mr. Dowling opposes opening anymore hospitals, because Lenox Hill Hospital is now making record amounts of money from an influx of patients from the damaged hospitals with which he competes.

NYU Langone Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and Coney Island Hospital were evaucated after each hospital suffered damage and power failures. None of these hospitals have been able to return to 100% functioning levels. How can it make sense for Gov. Cuomo to keep forcing hospitals to close ?

Related : With Some Hospitals Closed After Hurricane, E.R.’s at Others Overflow

If Interfaith does indeed close, it will become the tenth hospital to close since Christine Quinn became speaker of the New York City Council in 2006.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NYC Hurricane Sandy - Michael Dowling North Shore-LIJ Hospital Evacuations #EPICFAIL

Why is it acceptable for us to allow hospitals go through such desperate attempts to equally and adequately fund the healthcare needs of patients ? Look at the consequences of the blackouts of New York City hospitals in Lower Manhattan.

The issue before us is whether the rebuilding of our hospitals will continue to favour wealthy institutions, which primarily serve the well-insured, or will we use this opportunity to examine and fix the unequal distribution of healthcare in New York created by the Berger Commission ?

As it is, we are on a path that will continue to force us to accept less and less. Look at how nursing homes were instructed by health officials not to evacuate, and then they are criticised by the Department of Health for unacceptable conditions compounded precisely because they were instructed not to evacuate. Is this acceptable ?

If we believe in the dignity and equality of all people, then our healthcare system must be reformed to provide patient care-centered healthcare, to equally meet the needs of all patients. Please support a truly universal, single-payer healthcare system.

Level One Trauma Centers in Lower Manhattan After Hurricane Sandy

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bill Rudin, Marathon Organisers Hoarding 41 Generators Whilst NYC Still In Dark

Bill Rudin Mary Whittenberg NYC Marathon

Mayor Concedes To Critics : Cancels Marathon : What Took So Long ?

Race organisers, including the Rudin Family, the New York Road Runners Club, and ING, used Mayor Michael Bloomberg to be the fall guy for criticism about the city using valuable resources to hold the New York City Marathon. Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg was forced to cancel the marathon after The New York Post reported that at least 41 generators were being hoarded by race officials. Meanwhile, large numbers of New York City residents were rendered homeless with little to no resources for food, shelter, heat, health, or safety in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Bill Rudin Hurricane Sandy Hospital Evacuations and NYC Marathon

Many storm victims were outraged at all the resources, not just power generators, that were being hoarded by marathon organisers for the sole benefit of runners.

"Runners were set to dine on a lavish Saturday-evening pre-race meal that included lemon-thyme chicken with shallot jus, and autumn vegetable bow-tie pasta primavera with extra virgin oil and fresh herbs — which most storm victims would have killed for," reported The New York Post.

"More than 2,000 cops are typically assigned to work the marathon. About five years ago, the city started privatizing medical coverage at the event, although scores of city paramedics and EMTs are still assigned to the race," reported The New York Daily News.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bill Rudin Hospital Evacuations and NYC Marathon Reality Check

Even before Hurricane Sandy made landfall, weather experts were predicting massive flooding, which would have caused damage to the city's infrastructure. Two of the most critical infrastructure facilities that took a hit as a result of Hurricane Sandy were the subway system and the city's hospitals.

Bill Rudin Hurricane Sandy Hospital Evacuations and NYC Marathon

Bill Rudin said that it would be safe to close St. Vincent's Hospital, which was the only Level I Trauma Center and full-service hospital in all of Lower Manhattan. He and his billion-dollar real estate development company got easy building permits, zone-busting waivers, and approvals from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. At the time, Mr. Rudin and Speaker Quinn said that if people in Lower Manhattan became sick, or if there was a mass civilian trauma event, patients could be transported to Bellevue Hospital, which was the next closest Level I Trauma Center.

But the aftermath of hospital evacuations at NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospitals following destruction by caused by Hurricane Sandy expose the risks of the Rudin Condo Conversion Plan approved for St. Vincent's Hospital.

Note that the NYC Marathon would have three giant electricity generators, which would be used for the media tent, meanwhile, NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospitals had to be evacuated due to backup generator failures.

Watch this NBC News report about the hurricane destruction. Note that Mr. Rudin is a sponsor of the NYC Marathon, and he wants the Marathon to still take place this week-end, even though first responders haven't yet finished recovering all the dead bodies on Staten Island, or, for that matter, ensuring public safety or providing emergency care to the people rendered homeless by the tsunami of the storm surge and flooding.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NYU Langone Is Evacuated As St. Vincent's Hospital Becomes Luxury Condos

From The New York Times :

To the Editor :

Looking at the images of ambulances in front of NYU Langone Medical Center evacuating the hospital, one remembers the cry for the preservation of St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan made by the community and its doctors.

Let us join together to come up with a solution so that the people of New York will have access to the critical emergency care they need.

New York, Oct. 31, 2012

The writer, dean and professor at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, is a former attending physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan.

The St. Vincent's Effect On Hurricane Sandy Hospital Evacuations

Who is politically accountable for the failure of the emergency management plan in response to Hurricane Sandy that lead to infrastructure failure at New York City hospitals ?

Following the infrastructure failure of critical hospitals in New York City because of flooding and storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy and related power failures, some healthcare activists began to demand answers for the failure of New York City's emergency management planning. The fault does not lie with the doctors and medical staff at the impacted hospitals ; rather, the politicians in charge of the city's emergency management plan must account for this irresponsible and dangerous situation. How could it be that New York City's resources would prioritise reopening business when critical hospitals could be left in the dark ? One activist has posted a new YouTube video requesting political accountability for the dangerous risks posed to public health by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's lack of real emergency planning.

Video Link :


In the community effort to demand a replacement hospital for St. Vincent's, politicians imposed on the community the burden of participating in a needs assessment to determine if a full-service hospital was required in the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

"The hospital evacuations following the destruction by Hurricane Sandy expose the risks of the Rudin Condo Conversion Plan approved for St. Vincent's Hospital," said Louis Flores, an activist who produced this YouTube video. "New York City needs a Level I Trauma Center and full-service hospital in the Lower West Side for disaster recovery efforts. And New York City needs real resources to improve the infrastructure of all of our hospitals, including Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island and SUNY Downstate Hospital in Brooklyn."

Hurricane Irene

In 2011, St. Vincent's activists organized a mass civilian trauma event exercise to demonstrate what grassroots community activists described was a major risk to public health : where would sick and injured patients receive emergency and trauma care in the event of a major national disaster under conditions that had created an irresponsible geographic distribution of hospital beds in Manhattan.

See related link :

Hurricane Sandy

In the time leading up to and following the landfall of the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the infrastructure of full-service hospitals on the East Side of Manhattan has failed. Hospital patients were forced to be evacuated from NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospitals.

To Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, to City Planner Amanda Burden, Brad Hoylman, Bill Rudin, and to the Partnership for New York, where are New Yorkers supposed to go now, in case of a medical emergency ?