– U.S. Sen. David Vitter today made the following comments on the groundbreaking of the Mega-Charity hospital in New Orleans, following the release of a financial analysis by Kaufman, Hall & Associates that shows the planned facility “is materially larger than is supportable.”
“The state's own consultants repeat all of my concerns – the current Mega-Charity plan is too big and costs too much; it's unsustainable. And the taxpayer will be left holding the bag. Yet the state seems to be forging ahead with a groundbreaking on that mega-plan anyway. I just don't get it,” said Vitter.
The Times-Picayune today reported that the Kaufman Hall study “projects a need for annual state general-fund subsidies ranging from $72.5 million in 2015, the projected opening year, to as high as $108.4 million in 2019 and $100.7 million in 2020.”
Vitter last week met with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to present the flaws with the state’s “Mega-Charity” business plan just three days after expressing his concerns in a letter to HUD. Since the beginning of the rebuilding discussions Vitter has said that his first choice is to gut the existing Charity Hospital shell and rebuild a new, state-of-the-art facility within it. He has also suggested that a second alternative would be to significantly reduce the bed size and footprint of any new construction hospital.