bnkruptcy-vero1Although it is what I advocated on February 26, 2015 in “More Proof of Veronica Escobar’s end Game for Children’s Hospital,” yesterday’s bankruptcy by the El Paso Children’s Hospital underscores the serious problem with public policy debated and acted upon in secrecy.

Ever since the children’s hospital’s inability to pay its bills came to light all of the negotiating and dealing was conducted behind closed doors. This is how government operates under the tutelage of Veronica Escobar and cohorts because for as much as they pontificate about public policy the real decisions are being made in closed-door sessions.

Although at least three major public milestones were missed after secret negotiations between the children’s hospital and the taxpayer owned University Medical Center (UMC) all of the political pontification was that everything was good and it was only a few little items that needed to be addressed.

Yesterday’s bankruptcy filing shattered the “it’s all good” lie that is being bandied about by the politicos. Today you will be witnessing the political cover their asses rhetoric about how shameful the whole thing is. In other words, what I am constantly accused of doing; airing El Paso’s dirty laundry has been so publicly exposed that the only thing left is for the politicians to run for cover.

Look closely at the comments by the politicians in the local paper as soon as it become public information that the bankruptcy had been filed. Veronica Escobar is quoted as stating, “The decision by the EPCH board to declare bankruptcy is a tragedy for the hospital, the community and the taxpayer. EPCH CEO Mark Herbers claims they were left with no choice but to declare bankruptcy and that is untrue. They chose the worst option.”

Andrew Haggerty [updated on May 20, 2015 at 08:24am ET to correct Haggerty’s first name], who up until last morning was telling the news media that everything was ok, told the newspaper that it was a “shock” and a “shame” that it didn’t work out. David Stout was also in “shock.”

These are your elected officials who have direct oversight over UMC, who was in on the negotiations.

Your elected officials not only knew that the bankruptcy filing was imminent but they were telling everyone that a solution was in the horizon.

How is that effective governance?

More importantly, I have been writing about how you, the taxpayer, is the one who is not only paying the bills for UMC to negotiate a settlement for the money Children’s owes you but you are also paying the bills for the building that Children’s occupies and the services they are using.

You are paying all of the bills!

Yet, your elected politicos were caught with their proverbial pants, or panties, as the case may be, down around their ankles.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, you now get to forget all of the money owed to you by the El Paso Children’s Hospital because you are the largest creditor.

Despair not, as bad as the whole scenario is there are two silver linings in the bankruptcy filing. The first is that the community will now get to see all of the financials that were previously kept from you. Second, it is likely that the Children’s Hospital will finally be shown as economically unfeasible and it will be dissolved, as it should have been from day one.

Today, Veronica Escobar and cohorts will begin scrambling to create the illusion that the problem is El Paso unethical children’s hospital board as they politically maneuver themselves out of the inconvenient fact that the whole fiasco was not sustainable since day one.

Think about that as you look around at the privatization of the PR bonds and pre-trial services. Think about it as you remember the clinics that UMC is supposed to build at the behest of Veronica Escobar. Of course, think about it as the ballpark fiasco continues to be a drain on the taxpayers.

They didn’t even know their touted children’s hospital was going to file for bankruptcy and yet some of you still think they can govern you to prosperity.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

4 replies on “El Paso Children’s Hospital Bankruptcy”

  1. You cannot place the entire fault on Judge Escobar & Politicos; The Independent El Paso Children’s Hospital Board has the fiduciary responsibility for their financial operation and success. The past 3 plus years demonstrate a leading in secret management style saying it is all good and now; left the El Paso taxpayer, Texas Tech PLFSOM, UMC and the “children/parents in need” very very disappointed. Me too! Many good people agreed El Paso needed, worked for, prayed, donated money and voted for a “Children’s Hospital”.
    Bankruptcy was and is the worse option.


  2. Haiduc, you are correct that the entire fault does not lie upon Escobar. However, I am going to expand my comments in an upcoming blog post how the actual bankruptcy reflects how the court action exposes the utter incompetence of the county commissioners and their inability to govern.

    Thank you for participating on my blog,

  3. So who is on the hook for the $120MM bond issue? Are these now in default? I hope so, because it will make future bond issues much more difficult for the county and maybe put a top to them.

  4. If forced to govern by transparency, the sweet deals and legacy building would hopefully start the end of unethical and corrupt behavior.

    We are waiting for the other shoe to drop with the clinics.

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