Jan 12, 2011 11:36 PM by John Romero
The proposed ballot language on whether or not Memorial Health Systems should become a non-profit has been made public. The language, as it's written, says the hospital will become a non-profit entity which would be independent and not under city control, which it currently is. Voters would have final say on whether or not the hospital could be sold, and any proceeds from the sale or lease of the hospital would be returned to the city.
Former state senator Andy McElhany is against the idea of the city giving up control of the hospital. "There's no new money coming into the proposal." he explains, "Which means all of the promises are made are backed up only by the operating revenue of the hospital, which belongs to the people of the community, not the administrators." Memorial Trustee James Moore says by going to a non-profit system, the community as a whole would benefit from better care. "We think this allows us to be more responsive and flexible going forward, and to be able to attract some of the very best talent and achieve high quality health care with reduced cost." he says.
A sticking point on the ballot measure reads that memorial will continue to provide charity care to residents. In addition, all assets will be transferred to the nonprofit organization. It's important to remember that this ballot language isn't official until it's approved by Colorado Springs city council. That vote will come later this month on January 25th.
This is a copy of the proposed ballot language in its entirety...