EAMC's Hypocrites' Oath
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
During the County Commission meeting Monday evening, EAMC CFO Sam Price and Vice President Nichols claimed that the hospital had lost $36 M due to the pandemic, then asked the County for up to $13.5 M to “fill the hole”. When Commissioner LaGrand asked Mr. Price how EAMC calculated its $36 M loss, Price painfully stammered, obfuscated and dissembled until Robert Ham came to his rescue by changing the subject to how wonderful his treatment was while he was in the hospital. [See the attached video.] Great! Now the taxpayer neither knows the specifics of how and where the $36 M was lost, nor who Robert Ham really represents. But wait, it sometimes appears he may also work for Creekwood Resources Quarry.
Lee County political thieves slink about under cover of darkness to steal from the citizen/property owner/taxpayer. Fear of the Light in most thieves is so great that when they are called out, they lie about their transgression and shrink back to dark shadows. On the other hand, there is the “Noonday Devil”, a thief so brazen he steals and lies in your face, daring you to say a word or mention a name. He does not slink into the darkness; he wants all to know that he is connected and therefore untouchable. He wants to demonstrate this fact to further paralyze others with helplessness and fear. But know that he is not untouchable.
In my opinion, Public Servant Ham is the primary broker of political corruption in Lee County. He vowed to stop the quarry, but rumors abound that family and friends bought commercial hauling trucks and were somehow affiliated with the quarry. Another claimed one of the trucks was involved in an accident and authorities determined that the truck was insured for a purpose other than the one it was performing. Then the one that truck drivers were instructed to place magnetic signs to hide DOT numbers. Stories that trucks were sold, stories of FBI investigations. One would think that under increased scrutiny, Ham would lay low, finish his term and go live on the ranch out west. To the contrary, he remains on the prowl peddling his services. He was at the Commission meeting Monday abusing his influence, shilling for the corrupt monopoly: EAMC. No sense of duty, no conscience, no remorse.
Sounds awful, but fear not, there is Hope. The people of district 4 began to pay attention to this “Public Servant”, began to connect the dots and properly and soundly rejected his reelection bid. After December, the County will no longer pay him a salary while brokering the financial ruin of the County. This man is the promoter of the County Master Plan, the man who reduced County minimum standards for certain roads enabling greedy developers to export this road infrastructure cost to the county taxpayer. The County, using taxpayer money, has previously gone in behind developers and widened such roads to allow safe operation of school buses.
Robert Ham has not learned from his election flop, he continues to swing his political support to a greedy hospital, as evidenced by his apparent rescue of EAMC Monday night. We must hold EAMC accountable for its fraud, its malfeasance, its waste of taxpayer money. We must hold Oline Price accountable for aiding the theft by hiding the special hospital tax on the property tax bill and refusing to provide taxpayers the amount of special tax transferred to EAMC EVERY year. We must hold the Commission accountable for failure to discipline corrupt leadership at EAMC. We must challenge Bill English when he says the County Commission has no oversight responsibility or power over EAMC. The Commission clearly approves appointment to the Board and approves each Bond EAMC kites. The Commission should use said authority to discipline EAMC. Watch the Ham and EAMC “dog and pony show” on the website; let your commissioner know you are happy to support a hospital, but support must be tied to a minimum standard of care, fiscal responsibility, accountability and stopping the Fraud.
Here is what the EAMC CFO and VEEP said:
1. EAMC has Reserves of over $160 M and Debt of $90 M, that’s $70 clear money right now.
2. EAMC has received $38 M from Federal CDC and Public Health Requests in 2020.
3. EAMC expects $9 M from the State, $4.5 M from Auburn and Opelika cities
4. EAMC's letter to Bill English requested up to $13.5 M.
5. EAMC plans to upgrade its central chiller to increase capacity, to expand the organization, to add more beds. In other words, EAMC wants to expand its facility with taxpayer money when it has shown that it has $70 M assets in the clear.
6. EAMC is asking for more subsidies until it achieves “normal profitability” which allows more expansion. I say it has already achieved normal profitability. It doubled its assets in five years if the financial statements are correct. It is already receiving a $7 M taxpayer handout every year. Private businesses "achieve profitability", then expand their organizations on their own dimes.
Here’s what EAMC CFO Price and Vice President Nichols did not say:
1. While EAMC listed anticipated Federal, State and Municipal aid amounts, it did not mention the $7 M already paid by Lee County taxpayers EVERY year as the “Special Hospital Tax. It bragged about the great service it rendered during the pandemic and asked taxpayers to see how much the State and cities are donating to EAMC, then asked for up to $13.5 M MORE [See the attached letter to Bill English]. Two short years of Special Hospital Tax contributions from Lee County taxpayers exceed the combined contributions of $13.5 M from the State, Auburn and Opelika! Ten years of this guaranteed Special Hospital tax is enough to “double-fill CFO Price’s $36 M hole”. But EAMC's CFO Price wants more!
Somehow the Revenue Commissioner was convinced to withhold that information from the public and taxpayers. Somehow CFO Price neglected to mention the proceeds from the Special Hospital Tax in his pitch. Pay no attention to all the money you’re already on the hook for, EAMC wants more. These EAMC Agents listed every contributor, including the Federal, State, County, Auburn and Opelika. They did not mention the Lee County Taxpayer who in ten years will pay more than the Fed's, more than the State, more than all the others put together. Shameful obfuscation.
2. EAMC holds $70 M clear in Reserve after debt. Pay no attention that it nearly doubled its 2017 $86.2 M Assets to $160 M in 2022. There was a lot of dissembling and obfuscation Monday night, but both these shameless beggars admitted the organization was doing well. The Lee County taxpayer has been very good to them. EAMC simply prefers the taxpayer to pay even more that the $7 M hospital tax each year, EAMC wants the County to pay for its expansion. EAMC, shame on you and your greed.
EAMC has $70 M in Reserve in the clear, and like Revenue Commissioner Oline Price and her heifer, EAMC wants the taxpayer to pay even more than the $7 M hospital tax each year. EAMC wants the County to pay for EAMC expansion, but then wants to charge tax-paying patients' prices for standard procedures that are not even posted per Federal law. It has worked hard to squeeze out competition, to work against another hospital obtaining a Certificate of Need and ironically wants its monopoly to be rewarded with even more taxpayer money. When there is no competition, prices go up. Noonday Devil Greed.
At least the politburo is consistent: Ms. Price has a heifer that costs more than the average man makes in a year but wants the County to pay her a $1.2 M Supernumerary retirement. EAMC receives $7M a year in hospital tax but wants the Taxpayer to finance its expansion.
If EAMC wants to EXPAND, let it dig into its own $70 M pocket, give back the raises, be responsible for its own fiscal irresponsibility, stop the fraud.
EAMC, reject the "hypocrite's oath": stop the lies, stop the Fraud, curb the Greed. Remove your boot from the throat of the taxpayer. DO NO HARM
Postscript: Taxpayers should know that EAMC could not abuse its patients and the taxpayer without the complicity of the Commission and Bill English. Bill English claims Lee County does not own the hospital and therefore claims the Commission has no oversight authority. The Commission has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in Court with Creekwood, why not put the issue of ownership and oversight of this corrupt institution to a Judge in the form of a Declaratory Judgment? Let your commissioner know that you do not want any more subsidies going to EAMC until the fraud and corruption is stopped and the standard of care improves. Let the Commission know that financing is linked to quality of care received at the hospital. EAMC generally floats a Bond several times a decade, and why not? Each time a bond is approved, the Special Hospital Tax is extended [See the attached "Special Hospital Tax" document provided by EAMC when it issued the last bond in 2018. Your commissioner's vote is on record. If your commissioner does not share these concerns about EAMC, vote him out.
@ 0:30 EAMC receives $38.5 M Covid reimbursement from Federal Government.
@ 1:28 EAMC is now $36 M in the hole.
@ 3:45 EAMC asks for reimbursement monies from "Everybody we can". -Sam Price EAMC CFO
@ 1:03 EAMC committed to upgrade their Central Chilled Water Plant.
@ 1:17 EAMC need for increased capacity so they as an organization can grow
@ 0:03 "How do you come up with $36 M in the hole? -LCC District 5 Richard LaGrand
@ 2:55 "$36 M over two years is that like $18 M per year? -LCC District 5 Richard LaGrand
@ 3:44 "How much in Reserves do y'all [EAMC] have? -LCC District 4 Robert Ham