He who has the gold . . .

Buried deep in this piece about the move to reconstitute Atlanta’s charity hospital from a public to a nonprofit body is the following sentence:

a single anonymous donor had agreed to give the hospital $200 million if the donor approved of the governance system changes.

The article had previously mentioned the conditions of the decision to go private as if they were a guarantee of legitimacy:

The hospital authority, which would continue to own Grady’s
buildings and land, made explicit that its willingness to hand over
control depended on substantial financial commitments from both the
public and private sectors.

Before the lease [to the new nonprofit] . . . becomes effective, the hospital must receive
written commitments for a capital infusion of $200 million from
businesses and philanthropies.

In addition, the resolution demands that state leaders provide written support for $30 million in new state aid.

Let’s review: in the guise of tub-thumping for widespread public support, the hospital authority has obeyed the wishes of a single donor.  Those wishes include requiring expenditure of $30 million in public money. 

This may be what the hospital needs; but anyone who claims this is a less corrupt way to govern a hospital system than that provided by elected officials just isn’t paying attention. 

And the reporter’s readiness to cover the red-meat red-herring–that the question is the color of the governors rather than the color of their money–reminds us how pervasively and continually race distorts conversations in this country. 

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