Lobbying Berger

One part of the Berger Commission’s recommendations about which hospitals should close or merge is the amount of lobbying that actually went on behind the scenes.

“Everybody knows somebody that’s either on the commission or has influence enough in Albany,” said the president and C.E.O. of one Brooklyn hospital. “Everybody has their own lobbyist and people that they know that they can utilize to pressure people.”

As I noted earlier, some places like Victory Memorial unloaded a lot of money into hiring well-connected lobbyist to lobby the legislature.

Another, Episcopal Health Services, Inc., hired a firm to lobby the commission directly at a price of $5,000 a month.

The commission recommended one of the group’s hospitals, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, be merged with another one nearby.

Sort of better than closing, right?

The firm, Brown, McMahon and Weimar and Episcopal declined to comment.

— Azi Paybarah

Lobbying Berger