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

Prince George’s, Maryland:
Hospitals and Developers

Jun 21, 2021

Prince George’s County Medical Center closed in mid-June. The 235-bed hospital was in a Maryland suburb outside Washington, D.C. It served a high proportion of Medicaid and poor patients. It had problems, including a bacteria outbreak some years ago that shut down the infant care unit for months. But instead of fixing this much-needed hospital, officials closed it.

Workers and patients were relocated nine miles away to Capital Region Medical Center, newly built in middle- and upper-income Largo. But the new facility has fewer beds, only 204. In order to pay off more than 200 million dollars in bonds, the new hospital is expected to target higher-paying patients. Planners expect the share of Medicaid patients will drop by nearly a third. Officials express no concern for where poorer patients can go for treatment.

But they are quick to say the new facility will help developers investing in Largo. Two new high-end residential developments already opened nearby while the hospital deal was being promoted. Developers plan a big new commercial area right by the hospital, with “upscale restaurants” and other pricey attractions.

Only in the capitalist system do officials use a medical facility as a method for subsidizing commercial investment—while ushering out the neediest patients.