This fall, a group of Baltimore-area hospitals announced that it would help combat inequality and unemployment in the city by hiring 1,000 new entry-level workers from the city’s most struggling neighborhoods. The plan was widely acclaimed, and seemed like a no-brainer in some ways: the city’s largest private industry bridging the gap with Baltimore’s disadvantaged populations.
Of course, announcing that you’re going to hire 1,000 people is not the same as actually hiring 1,000 people. Originally, the hospitals had proposed raising their rates in order to pay for the new jobs, which would come with benefits, on-the-job training, and opportunities for advancement. But the state Health Services Cost Review Commission was leery of charging health insurance companies more–and so today, the Baltimore Sun reports that the hiring figure has been cut to just 375 jobs, with certain hospitals putting up their own money to fund the program. Meanwhile, CareFirst, the city’s biggest insurer, is getting into trouble in D.C. for amassing an “excessive” amount of money (the company is ostensibly a non-profit).
Though some city leaders praised the revised plan as a step in the right direction, it’s definitely a step back from the plan announced earlier this year.
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