Congressman Bob Filner doesn’t want the City of San Diego to turn into another “roach-infested hellhole,” like Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the 5500-room Washington, D.C., military hospital exposed for its deteriorating conditions and tangled bureaucracy. Filner thinks that’s exactly what will happen if Mayor Jerry Sanders is successful in implementing his policy of “managed competition,” referring to the 2006 ballot measure that allows outside corporations the opportunity to bid on city programs.
“The most fallacious argument by privatization proponents is that public-private competitions generate ‘savings’ -- hypothetically 10 to 30 percent reductions in future budgets,” reads Filner’s press release. “In truth, audits by the independent Government Accountability Office show that these competitions cost more than they save. On average, they cost American taxpayers $225 million, or about $4,800 per job put out to bid.”
Filner entitled his press release “The Failed ‘Managed Competition’ Experiment.” In it, the congressman used federal studies from places such as Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, and the proposal signed into law by President Obama that placed a moratorium on competition between city departments and private corporations.
“The federal experience should serve as a wake-up call for cities like San Diego that may be exploring costly and risky ‘managed competition’ processes,” concludes Filner’s press release. “There are much better ways to achieve efficiencies for the greater good.”