Powerful Lobbyist Enters Hospital Fray

POLITICALLY CONNECTED PRIME BRINGS IN REPUBLICAN BRULTE
Many things have changed since Dr. Prem Reddy set foot in San Leandro this week. Not only did he capture the imagination of the city with a bevy of solutions the cities problems, but now the make up of the Eden Township District directors has suddenly become very muddled.

A San Leandro city official close to the hospital discussions told The Citizen two votes against the approving the transfer of San Leandro Hospital to the Alameda County Medical Center were assured, meaning a lone vote out of three would be needed to move forward. This official expressed confidence another director could be recruited, but maybe this isn’t the case, after all.

Today’s Daily Review reveals an interesting scenario brewing where one member is being told to skip the vote by lawyers and another being charged with conflict-of-interest. What is not expressly implied in the article but assuredly is occurring is a concerted effort by Prime to pry the control of the health care district from the hands of Sutter, which has long manipulated the group.

With Reddy’s billions comes political acumen and powerful lobbying interests. Evidence of Prime’s muscle was in attendance Monday with the presence of former top-ranking Republican State Senator Jim Brulte (pictured above) mingling in the background. Brulte spent 14 years in the state legislature before joining the powerful Southern California lobbying firm California Strategies and has been referred to in many outlets as the most powerful Republican in the state.

Whether or not, Reddy is overtly using his immense political power in San Leandro at this time, it is clear the legal challenges are emananting as a lawyerly gambit to leverage the system. The knowledge of Dr. Rajendra Ratnesar’s employment at Sutter is as long-standing as the controversial Sutter plan to close San Leandro Hospital over two years ago. The question becomes, how do you eliminate any conflict when a board formed to oversee health care issues is filled with current and former doctors and nurses? This may be the point, Prime seeks to exploit. Ratnesar, for his part, may have become an important piece that greases the way for Prime in San Leandro. As it stands, the fears of losing San Leandro Hospital are now being gamed by two powerful corporations both attempting to manipulate the system for their own financial gain.

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