The Oath of Allegiance
With the winter snow looming, I start to think fondly of the
Mediterranean. Actually, I start to think fondly of anyplace warm. But
today I think mostly of Catalonia, that troublesome Spanish region,
because of a wonderful quotation that is beginning to make the rounds of
the Internet. I have no idea of the origin of the quote, and I'm
certainly not ready to vouch for its authenticity. It may be another
Internet hoax, but I love it anyway. It's presented as the Catalan oath
of allegiance, and it is exactly the kind of oath of allegiance I would
gladly give to a political leader: “We, who are as good as you, swear
to you, who are no better than us, to accept you as our king and
sovereign lord, provided you observe all our liberties and laws — but
if not, not.” Now, put that attitude together with sun and a nice
beach, and you really have something.
The Cost of Doing Business with Doctor’s
Community Health Care Corporation
Carolyn Curtis, email@example.com
The grand total of the minimum cost to the city of doing business
with Doctor's Community Health Care Corporation is $115,971,805 a year.
Please refer to the DC Health Care Alliance Contract that can be found
on the DCWatch web site. Understand that this was the initial contract;
there have been numerous revisions, particularly for the financial costs
for services. The breakdown of these costs, information about the
financial terms of the DC HealthCare Alliance, and where it can be found
in that contract is noted as follows. Also note that all of these
services were provided at DC General Hospital under the budget that they
Health care services, $59,175,039, Exhibit I. Health care services
administration (12% of base amount), $7,101,006, Exhibit I. Subtotal for
health care services, $66,276,044.
School health program, $6,259,395, Exhibit F. School health program
administration, $751,127, Exhibit F. Subtotal for school health program,
$7,010,522 (This reflects the initial cost; this was renegotiated early
on due to the inability to pay the nurses the salary they were receiving
while employed by DCGH).
Pharmacy services, $3,400,000, Section 1.11.2. Pharmacy services are
only guaranteed for four months if cost exceeds the budgeted amount,
Section 1.11.4. Subtotal for pharmacy, $3,400,000.
Corrections services, $3,317,730, Exhibits G, I. Corrections services
administration fee (12%), $398,128. Semiannual reconciliation between
actual and budgeted levels, Section 1.10.6. Services are capped at
$3,317,730, Section 1.10.17. Subtotal for corrections, $3,715,858.
Trauma capacity subsidy each year, $1,399,525, Exhibits E(c),G.
Additional $50 per emergency room visit at DCGH and GSECH, Exhibit E(c).
Known ER visits to DCGH=52,449/year (Appendix M in the RFP) x
$50=$2,622,450. Unknown # of ER visits to GSECH. Subtotal for trauma
capacity (minimal amount)/year, $4,021,975.
Other health care services (management of WIC, DOH/HIV; MCH and day care
programs, Exhibit A(7). Other health care services amount,
$4,482,971.33, Exhibit E(A,B,C). Other health care services
administrative services amount, $537,956.66, Exhibit E(C). Subtotal for
other health care services, $5,020,927.89.
Mental health and substance abuse services (no medical services to be
provided; only responsible for developing a plan to ensure timely access
to services in DC. Contractor ensures that appropriate referrals are
made for medical detoxification in acute care hospital setting, Sections
4.7.1; 4.7.2. Subtotal for mental health and substance abuse services,
Health care services to other district agencies. Occurs through
modifications or amendment to this agreement, billed directly to Agency,
One time startup administration fee (first year only), $1,500,000,
Section 1.7.2; Exhibit.
Loan (gift) to contractor for capital improvements; 20% forgiven for
each year of contract, $11,800,000, Section 1.42.1 to 1.42.3.
Landlord's obligations capital reimbursement and maintenance of
structure, $7,130,000, Master Lease Agreement, Section 5.1.2.
Out stationed eligibility workers, $70,000, Exhibit A. Section 5.5.2.
Steam plant facility, $4,150,488.
Maintenance of systems (50 FTEs), $2,000,000, Master Lease Agreement,
Campus and clinic security (75 FTEs), $3,275,000.
Subtotal of other costs, $29,925,488.
Costs to the contractor and primary subcontractors: rent per year for
four parcels of land, $10/year, Master Lease Agreement, 1.35 and 1.46.
Subtotal of costs for contractor and primary subcontractors, $10/year.
Other incentives (20% profit margin built into contract, taxpayers
pay 15% of actual costs).
If costs are less than $59,175,039 but more than $71,010,046, contractor
gets 50% of the amount over $59,175,039, Section 18.104.22.168.
If costs are more than $71,010,046, renegotiate costs, Section 22.214.171.124
If costs are less than $59,175,039, contractor gets 50% of the
difference between budgeted and actual costs, Section 126.96.36.199.
If actual costs are less than 80% of $59,175,039 (or $47,340,031.20),
contractor gets the actual costs for care plus 50% of the difference
between budgeted amount and 80% of budgeted amount, Section 188.8.131.52.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Action Needed
Melody R. Webb, firstname.lastname@example.org
DC residents and activists, another hospital will bite the dust if
you don't act now! The clock is ticking! The assault on quality health
care continues! First DC General, then Greater Southeast. Now Children's
Hospital! The departure of Blue Cross/Blue Shield on December 31 from
Children's Hospital will close it to many DC children! Blue Cross/Blue
Shield and Children's National Medical Center will be shutting the doors
of the Children's Hospital to those who carry Blue Cross/Blue Shield at
midnight on December 31. Children's says the following at its web site (http://www.cnmc.org):
“Regardless of what option or type of plan you have, beginning January
1, 2003, Blue Cross/BlueShield HMO and FEP Basic Option patients will
NOT be able to use Children's Hospital, Children's Outpatient Centers,
Children's Ambulatory Surgery Center, and Children's specialty doctors.
BlueCross BlueShield PPO, POS and FEP Standard Option patients WILL BE
REQUIRED to pay additional, out-of-network fees. Children's will
continue as an in-network provider only through December 31, 2002.”
This means that thousands of DC children will lose access to the
area's top notch health facility, uniquely designed and staffed to
handle the specialized needs of children. It will further shrink the
ever-reducing pool of health providers for children, leading eventually
to more expensive health care for members of all health plans. The
research of Children's will suffer, as will the poor, who currently can
turn to Children's for health care regardless of their insurance status.
Either you or someone you know will be affected by this. Please visit http://www.lobbyline.com/bcbs4children.htm.
This web site allows you to write a letter of your own or E-mail the
default form letter to all of the relevant hospital, insurance, and
government officials. DC licenses and regulates health insurance
provision. Lobbyline is organizing citizens to ask that Children's and
Blue Cross/Blue Shield return to the negotiating table and delay the
scheduled termination date of December 31, 2002. We are also asking that
DC Councilmembers Sharon Ambrose and Sandy Allen hold public hearings
and help broker a deal between Children's and Blue Cross officials.
Single Party Government
John Capozzi, email@example.com
Paul Dionne raises an interesting question about the DC Democratic
party, and as an elected official of the DC Democratic Party I feel the
need to respond. His conclusion that DC voters should abandon the
Democratic Party is a slap in the face to 80 percent of the voters who
have chosen to register as Democrats. People register to the party for a
variety of reasons, but most DC voters have freely chosen the Democratic
party because they believe in what the party stands for: hope and
opportunity for all regardless of race or class and the belief that the
government can be a positive force for making our society better.
Stop criticizing the voters who believe that Democrats are better
suited to lead the city and then we can move on to the real issue of
electing qualified candidates to the City Council and the Mayor's
office. In the 2002 election the voters were clearly happy with the
incumbents and voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the current
leadership in place. A better test will be in the 2004 cycle when Harold
Brazil faces reelection and the second at-Large seat held by Carol
Schwartz will be open if she does not run again. Then Paul and any other
non-Democrats can step up and run for the Council and see if they can
persuade voters to leave the Democratic Party.
I appreciate the point made in the December 2 themail, but have a
couple of suggestions to make. First, it looks to me as though today's
DC Democrats are much like the old southern Democrats. The party is a
flag of convenience, not necessarily an indication of common beliefs.
There seems to be differences between residents who can afford to think
long-term and those who need assistance now, between those who believe
in cradle-to-grave social services and those who think of many services
as short-term supports in time of special need. And between those of us
who think many of the city's current problems stem from a lack of
skilled nonprofessional jobs and lack of access to affordable training
or education beyond high school, and those for whom this is a
white-collar, pay-what-the-market-charges city with no other
expectations. (I believe that a crowded city with spiraling housing
costs must be considered something like a utility, with land/housing
costs controlled accordingly. And that it is more expensive to the
society to allow factories to relocate overseas than to keep them at
home.) Other differences perhaps exist between those who would like to
punish misbehavior (driving infractions, failure to perform on the job,
and so on) that occurs under the influence of marijuana but not the use
of the drug itself. And between those for whom major prison reforms are
a priority and those for whom they are an afterthought. This leads to
another issue I hadn't intended to bring up: we live in a city many of
whose citizens of working age have prison records. Can we afford not to
train and relocate them as needed and encourage employers to hire them?
Or to educate them while they are in prison so they will be employable
when they return to society?
Second, is there such a thing as an Independent party? That would
help to provide an alternative perspective.
More Outsourcing of City Services
Alverda Muhammad, firstname.lastname@example.org
I had noted in another edition of themail that I had to send to
Landover, MD, for my professional license — that DCRA seemingly could
not find capable employees in the District. Well, guess what? Last week
I saw a van on my block which bore New Jersey tags, belonging to a
company named “United Metering.” The van had the statement,
“Contractor for DC WASA” painted on its side. The driver was
checking the water meters in the block. Now, how much intelligence does
that take? You mean, WASA cannot find competent employees in the
District for that service, either?
David Hunter suggested that the Taft Bridge may still hold the record
for the largest concrete bridge in the world. Sadly, the world record in
1907 has long since been passed. The Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane
claims to have been the largest concrete arch bridge when it was
completed in 1910. There are now at least seven concrete arch bridges
that are larger, probably more. The largest that I was able to identify,
the Wanxiang bridge over the Yangzi River in China, was built in 1996
and has a span of 420 meters, dwarfing the Taft's 274.5 meters.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Logan Circle Annual House Tour, December 8
Cary Silverman, email@example.com
Join us as the Logan Circle Community Association hosts its 24th
Annual House Tour on Sunday, December 8, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The tour
will feature seven magnificent homes including 1334 Vermont Avenue, 1338
Vermont Avenue #7, 1217 O Street, 23 Logan Circle, 1107 L Street, 1112
Rhode Island Avenue, and 1722 13th Street. Tickets may be purchased
prior to the tour at Barrel House Liquors (1341 14th Street), Ruff and
Ready (1908 14th Street), Home Rule (1807 14th Street), and Toast and
Strawberries (1608 20th Street). You can also purchase tickets on the
day of the tour at 1324 Vermont Avenue, NW. I hope to see you there!
Silver Spring Documentary on WETA-TV, December
Jerry A. McCoy, firstname.lastname@example.org
A four-year effort to dispel the notion that “nothing historic ever
happened in Silver Spring” (something I have been told on more than
one occasion!) will finally be put to rest on Sunday, December 8, when
the Silver Spring Historical Society and Final Cut Productions presents
“Silver Spring: Story of an American Suburb,” airing at 7:00 p.m. on
WETA-TV, Channel 26. See http://www2.weta.org/tv/silverspring.html.
The documentary will be rebroadcast on Tuesday, December 10, at 1:00
a.m. for you late owls, and again on Wednesday, December 11 at 8:30 p.m.
For more information on the production, see http://home.earthlink.net/~chaosmos/silverhome.html.
The documentary also includes fascinating archival footage of downtown
Washington, DC. The documentary is truly a labor of love. Hope you enjoy
CLASSIFIEDS — FOR SALE
1996 Dodge Caravan, 99K miles, runs great, body in good condition,
very dependable, removable seats in middle and back, roomy for cargo,
seats 6 or 7 comfortably, AC, AM-FM cassette, tinted windows, sliding
doors both sides, dual front airbags, roof rack, cruise control, power
steering/brakes, power door locks, tilt steering wheel, anti-lock
brakes. Kelly Blue Book value is $4,635. We're asking $4,500 or best
offer. Blue Book estimate info at http://www.kbb.com/kb/ki.dll/kw.kc.ur?kbb.DC;226715;DC001&20015;p&722;Dodge;1996%20Caravan&7;DT;A6&&&
CLASSIFIEDS — HOUSING
Capitol Hill Apartment for Rent
Dai Harmon, email@example.com
Beautiful, spacious, Capitol Hill one-bedroom apartment with Capitol
view, two blocks to Union Station. Air conditioning, heat, hardwood
floors, on-site laundry, CATV. $1000 month, available now. Private
parking space also available. Call 256-5968.
Sixteenth Street, NW, Mt. Pleasant. Enormous, bright, one bedroom
garden apartment with private patio. Bay windows, gourmet kitchen, W/D,
roomy closets, built-in bookshelves, near Metro, parking available.
$1200 including utilities. Pets okay.
Also a vast, sunny, one bedroom plus large office/study and
den/sewing room in restored prewar row house. Bay window, high ceilings,
antique fireplace, hardwood floors, ceiling fan, walk-in closet, eat-in
kitchen, gas stove, W/D, sunny porch with wood swing, near Metro,
parking available. Pets okay. $1730 including utilities. Call 986-2745
or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seeking Home Sitting Opportunity
Kyle Sampson, email@example.com
Responsible professional male seeks a home sitting opportunity in the
DC area. Contact Kyle, firstname.lastname@example.org.
MacArthur Boulevard: professional, considerate, responsible female
seeks same to share furnished two bedroom, one bath upper flat; near
GU/AU/Sibley Hospital; D5 Express and D6 bus; D/W; A/C; W/D. Rent and
security deposit: $725 including utilities; own phone. Short term OK;
available January 1. Contact 363-9865; email@example.com.
CLASSIFIEDS — RIDE SHARING
Florida for Christmas
Jason Ziedenberg, Columbia Heights, firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you driving to Southwest Florida at Xmas? I'm looking for someone
with a car who is heading to Southwest Florida (Fort Myers) for the
Christmas holidays. I can share the driving and any costs -- just keep
me off the price gouging airlines. Looking to come back around New
Years, but flexible. E-mail email@example.com.
CLASSIFIEDS — RECOMMENDATIONS
Does anyone know when the tickets are available for this year's
Messiah Sing-Along at Kennedy Center? I know the lines are horrible.
Given this cold spell of weather we are having, can anyone recommend
line standers? I am willing to pay for it, but I am not interested in
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