February 22, 2017, East Orange, NJ: Mayor Lester Taylor III is joining mayors across the country to urge Congress to consider the serious impact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on millions of Americans without an effective replacement, including tens of thousands of registered families in East Orange.
Today’s NATIONAL MAYORS’ DAY OF ACTION unites mayors in cities from coast-to-coast to stress the critical importance of preserving access to affordable healthcare.
“President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress continue to promote gutting the Affordable Care Act, which will leave nearly 30 million people, including 4 million children, deprived of health care coverage by 2019,” said Mayor Lester E. Taylor III. “This politically-motivated move is unacceptable and will devastate our most vulnerable populations. As mayors, we need to be extraordinarily vigilant because when the federal government makes a mistake, it’s our communities that take the hardest hit.”
Maintaining access to acute, quality healthcare is critically important to the East Orange community. In March 2016, the city’s 100+ year old community hospital was saved from financial collapse when it was acquired by Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc., one of the first healthcare providers in the country to adopt an operating model that prefigures the objectives of the Affordable Care Act to improve quality, reduce cost and enhance overall patient care.
Municipal leaders worked diligently with local hospital officials to spare East Orange General Hospital from the same grave fate of six neighboring North Jersey area hospitals — St. Mary’s Hospital, West Hudson Hospital, Hospital Center at Orange, Irvington General Hospital, Columbus Hospital, and St. James Hospital — all of which have closed over the past 15 years.
“As Mayor of East Orange, I want to say clearly: We must protect our families and their right to health care coverage,” said Mayor Taylor. “On this Day of Action for Health Care, I am proud to stand with my fellow mayors and other leaders who are committed to accessible health care for all.”
Since the acquisition, the hospital has received significant upgrades, including approximately $9 million in physical renovations and the implementation of new customer service initiatives such as the house-wide Concierge Program and daily updates to the loved ones of intensive care patients to add that distinctive personal touch that makes patients and families feel safe and secure under the hospital’s care.
Additional upgrades are planned over the next two years, including to the Emergency Room, the hospital’s busiest area which receives up to 3,000 visits per month.
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