Green says the bill is carefully drawn so that these repurposed medical arts buildings would not provide in-patient acute care, nor would they compete with nearby hospitals for other services. "We are not competing with other hospitals but we are offering hospital services that are needed," he says.
The bill does not affect the budget, Green says, so he is confident that it will pass the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate. He hopes it will have the support of Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
"This could be a role model to save other hospitals that right now are on the bubble, but it's up to the governor," he says. Assemblyman Green and other community boosters should be commended for their efforts to mitigate the effects on a hospital closure on local economies. Opening a medical arts facility where a hospital once stood will no doubt create some new jobs and tax revenues.
To be clear, however, no medical mall can come close to replacing the lost jobs and revenues that vanish when a 24/7/365 hospital closes.