Code Red for ER One

Just read a Washington Post editorial about a casualty in the HHS appropriations bill: ER One. In Congress's efforts to rid the bill of earmarks, ...
by | December 14, 2005
 

Just read a Washington Post editorial about a casualty in the HHS appropriations bill: ER One. In Congress's efforts to rid the bill of earmarks, the $25 million slated to continue development of the country's first "all-risks ready" emergency department has been eliminated.

This fall, Governing's special report on homeland security wrote about this state-of-the-art facility being designed by the Washington Hospital Center. The public-private partnership has a dual purpose: to be capable of handling a massive number of civilian victims in the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or epidemic in the national capital area, as well as to serve as a model and resource for trauma centers in other cities.

The D.C area's status as a high-risk target and the project's broad mission, the Post notes, are why funding for ER One "was exempted from the normal pork-barrel form of distribution" in the president's budget and earlier versions of the HHS budget bill.

So what happened? Congress owes the country an explanation or a change of heart--stat!

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