UMC losses

Pick any medical metaphor you like. Bleeding. Hemorrhaging. Cardiac arrest. All apply to the health of University Medical Center, the region's only public hospital.

Unlike the many thousands of patients who've received excellent, life-saving care at UMC, the hospital's financial losses aren't getting better. Taxpayers have provided bailouts totaling more than $200 million over the past three years. It's been a year since consultants warned the Clark County Commission that without "major, dramatic and profound change," the hospital was doomed to closure.

And yet we are no closer to a solution because commissioners still can't agree on how to approach reforms, whether it involves developing new funding sources or changing the hospital's governance (commissioners serve as its board).

If commissioners were doctors, they'd face malpractice lawsuits and license revocation. Their patient is dying, and they're not acting to save it.

Four commissioners are seeking re-election this fall. UMC should be the defining issue of their campaigns. What are they going to do about it?