The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Washington, D.C.:
What Hospital for Poor People?

Jun 29, 2020

Washington, D.C.’s city government plans to close the hospital it owns and replace it with a much smaller facility with fewer services. This is what happens in a society where health care is just another way to generate wealth and inequality.

Nurses say the new facility will be no more than a glorified emergency room: a level three trauma center with no neonatal intensive care unit, no geriatric center, no cancer clinic, and no diabetes program. It won’t even have half the number of beds the old hospital has. But the city will build it in a neighborhood that officials have long targeted for development. And after the city pays for construction, it will subsidize a private company to run the facility. The city also subsidized a series of scandalously greedy private operators to run the old hospital—or more accurately, to run it into the ground.

Big business will win all around with the city’s plans: construction companies, developers, and the private operator, which happens to be notorious for its hostility to unions. Everybody wins in this capitalist scheme, except working class people who need medical care.