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DC votes to close city’s only public hospital within 4 years

May 15, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington, D.C., City Council has voted to close the city’s only public hospital by January 2023.

The Washington Post reports the closure voted for Tuesday was part of the $15.5 billion budget approved by the council for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The local part of the budget controlled by city officials equals about $8.6 billion, the remainder is federal or special funding.

Councilman Vincent Gray proposed closing the United Medical Center, the only full-service hospital in the predominantly low-income and black neighborhoods near the Anacostia River. He says UMC’s closure would limit losses as the city prepares to open a new hospital. UMC has required millions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts.

The vote also approved UMC funding restrictions. A final budget vote is set for this month.

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