Maryland lawmakers are in a feud over funding for a new medical center in Prince George’s County.
County elected officials called out Gov. Larry Hogan and other state politicians, saying they’re playing games with the county's health care.
“We’re going to demand quality of service in Prince George’s County in the southern region, and we’re going to demand a quality hospital,” County Executive Rushern Baker said.
“Every time we get there, the post gets moved further away,” Council member Dannielle Glaros said.
The regional medical center proposed for Largo is expected to heal the county's broken medical system. Officials are depending on cardiac surgery dollars to make money.
“We want to be in a position by the time we open that regional medical center of those marquee programs, and the one that is the example is the cardiac surgery program,” said John Ashworth of University of Maryland Medical System, the hospital’s partner.
But the state's health commission is considering approving another heart program 30 minutes away at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Prince George’s County politicians say that will cut into the number of patients their facility can attract.
A statement from Anne Arundel Medical Center reads, in part, "This is not a one-or-the-other scenario. Both hospitals should be able to support their communities with modern, state-of-the-art facilities and quality heart surgery programs. When health care is politicized, patients and families lose."
The Prince George's County delegation accused Hogan of not really supporting the hospital after he delayed millions of state dollars promised to help with the center's operations.
“We need the governor to follow the law,” Baker said. “Put the money back in. Stop playing a shell game with people’s lives.”
Maryland’s health commission is expected to decide on that cardiac department in Anne Arundel County in February.
Hogan released a statement saying he is deeply committed to the hospital and said it is too important to be used as a political pawn.