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Sicko: The Fire reaches the door of Atlanta's Grady Memorial

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Message Ron Marshall

*The stakes are even greater than the Public Hospital

* Should Georgia be run by the people, or by secrecy?


Grady hospital is one of the largest, most historic, county hospitals in the United States. The budget of $700 Million a year is greater than the entire city government of Atlanta. Now, it is going broke, in a microcosm of the public health crisis across the country.


The leaders of Atlanta now claim they are "shocked, shocked" Grady is in crisis. But behind this crisis is another crisis: the addiction of Atlanta’s leaders to secrecy, a mirror of our national policy of putting our head in the sand. The leaders want to bury the causes of the Grady crisis in secrecy, and then propose "solutions" in double secrecy.  Since secrecy is the cause of the Grady crisis, why not try something else: real, open, democratic grass roots government.  Revolutionary?  Atlanta belongs to the people of Atlanta.  The people, not the old boys, need to make decisions about each Atlanta crisis in the open, including the Grady crisis.


Atlanta's shocked leaders claim the only option is immediate, knee jerk conversion of Grady into a quasi-private hospital, accountable to no one. They clam we need to leave this to "experts" and "business leaders."  Really?  Incredibly, Atlanta's leaders show they don't trust the people, and that they believe back-room politics are the only option. Why all the secrets?  What are they hiding at Grady, and at PDK (Peachtree DeKalb Airport)?  A back room conversation never reveals itself or its reasons.  The Heimlich Maneuver must be performed on Georgia’s government


I have a question. How did the fire get to the door before these "experts" realized the house was burning? We support Grady, we want Grady bailed out. But we must put out the fire of mismanagement, favoritism and corruption, and stop the firebugs from spreading to MARTA and other Georgia public institutions. We want Grady, and Georgia, run by the people, and not by a secret old boy's club or their inheritors.


It took decades for the fire to reach Grady. It will take time to put the fire out and to find the firebugs.  Everybody exterminates bugs, don't they? A knee jerk unaccountable secret private system is against everything that Grady stands for.


A host of politicians now claim to have a plan for Grady. Why did they wait until now? Why won't they explain their secret plans to the public?  When does an admiral that has been at sea all his life try to make decisions for the army?


Since 1998, the Grady coalition urged attention to the governance of Grady. Grady has been operating secretly behind closed doors and the old boys were putting kindling on the fire, and now apparently Grady wants to retreat farther behind closed doors, and become a private hospital accountable to no one but the old boys.

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Ron Marshall is the chairman of the Grady Coalition. He is also the founder of Georgians for Open Government. Recently, he helped to chair a Congressional forum in Washington on Open Government.
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Sicko: The Fire reaches the door of Atlanta's Grady Memorial

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