This is just step one, getting the funds, the next step is the real work. The plans are to build a new hospital as a replacement, so that will be a few years in the making as well. FEMA had also questioned as to whether or not some of the damage to the hospital was storm related. Nice try, but when people need a hospital do we need to split hairs when debating whether or fix it or build a new one? From what the article states here the debate of a new building versus repairing the old building is still up in the air. Does this give us any indication as to how government may see the urgency of healthcare reform?
This is our own US disaster that we have not squared yet.
One report said only 2 floors were damaged and this is one big hospital. BD
Ending one of the longest-running disputes left by Hurricane Katrina, a federal arbitration panel ruled Wednesday that Louisiana would receive $474.8 million — nearly all it had requested — to pay for the replacement of Charity Hospital in New Orleans, which has been closed since the storm.
The ruling is a significant victory for state and city officials, and gives a major boost to plans to replace Charity, a state-owned hospital for the indigent, with a new $1.2 billion academic medical center in the Mid-City neighborhood.
The state’s ability to afford the new center, which would be built adjacent to a Veterans Affairs hospital, had been linked to the outcome of the arbitration. An additional $300 million has been appropriated by the State Legislature, and the rest is expected to come from the sale of revenue bonds.
FEMA had projected it would cost $126.1 million to repair Charity, and had offered $150 million to settle the dispute. With the sides making little headway, Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, inserted language in the stimulus bill last year to create a binding arbitration process.