From our conversation, I could gather that Sen. Shafer genuinely wants to keep Grady from closing, but he wants to do it by offering a long-term solution to the problem. I expressed to Sen. Shafer that throwing more money at a problem does not always solve a problem. Even if the state came in and bailed Grady out, eventually the state’s funds would run dry and Grady would back in the same position it’s in today; strapped for cash and looking for someone to bail them out again. In other words, throwing more money at Grady is a short-term solution to a long-term problem, and I would much rather get it right the first time instead of having to re-visit the issue again and again and again.
I shared with the Senator my thoughts of what needed to be done to save Grady, and I believe that a fundamental change in the way the hospital operates has to occur in order to keep the doors of Grady open.
I find it somewhat amusing that both Sen. Shafer and I graced the pages of Creative Loafing last week; him for responding to Cynthia Tucker’s criticisms of his reforming Grady proposals; me for suggesting that Shafer get a female, black, liberal, Democrat to co-sponsor the bill with him in the Senate.
To my knowledge, no such person has stepped forward, but there’s still time left.