Hospitals: LSU and VA to build Center

Charity3On Monday, Louisiana State University and the Department of Veterans
Affairs announced a plan to build a new $1.2 billion medical center in New
Orleans. The hospital will probably take over the role played by historic
Charity Hospital, although no official announcement has been made yet on the
older hospital. Construction is slated for October 2008. Some doctors groups
have criticized the plan as unnecessary, arguing that damage to the first floor
and basement of the hospital could be repaired fairly easily. Others have
argued the project will be too late to help the city’s current healthcare

More controversially, the new facility will be built in a part of the city that flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Planners say
they want to prepare for the worst by building the structure 15 feet above sea
level and ensuring that the facility is stocked with enough food, water and
medicines to last a week in a crisis.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has abanoned his effort to impose a bed tax on hospitals in the state after encountering fierce resistance. Corzine still wants to increase the state’s sales tax from six to seven percent to ease New Jersey’s fiscal crisis. But it’s looking like that probably won’t happen either. The New York Times reports:

Earlier Monday, Mr. Corzine backed away from a plan that would have
brought in $430 million by taxing hospital beds in the state, conceding
in a morning radio interview that the plan was dead. "I’ve relented on
that," Mr. Corzine said in an interview on WKXW-FM, 101.5. "There are
fights you’re going to have. That isn’t the biggest part of my budget.
And it’s out."

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5 replies »

  1. Political corruption and tax breaks for corruptions??? Have you read the national news lately. My point is that level failure and coastal erosion are national problems, and federal mistakes and thus require federal solutions to fixed the mistakes they caused. State political corruption has nothign to do with the Corps of engineers messing up. Louisiana cities like all other cities have building codes but there was no statewide building code. Our political incompetence did have quite alot to do with the problems that were show on the national and international scene though. Once again, if the Hoover Dam broke, who would be responsible the state, or the feds?

  2. How do you feel about the decades of LA political corruption and tax concessions/givaways to wealthy corporations that could have been used for disaster mitigation and levee reinforcement. Maybe all that federal pork that went to connected cronies and not levee protection could have helped. Or about the fact that LA had no building codes or zoning restrictions. Not sure if they have any worth noting now. LA is sinking because the entire Mississippi is leveed and little to no flood plain erosion is keeping the delta intact. At least you admit to your own state industrial and oil environmental destruction being a large part. The choice is not oil or coastal protection, it is oil and coastal protection. But hey, Exxon might make a few million less and the test of us would not have to subsidize bad policy. New Orleans doesn’t need to be located where it is, at least not as big as it is. Move it inland but don’t expect me to support tax dollars being dropped into a black hole of incompetence and corruption. How’s NO’s police force doing lately?

  3. Yawn…south Louisiana is sinking because we don’t have funds for coastal erosion. It is not an inevitability. Much of the coastal erosion is due to industrial development, much of which is oil related. Lousiana’s coast is destroyed so you can have oil. Also, if we were getting the same revenue sharing that other states get for their on shore oil, then neither coastal erosion nor levee protection would be an issue right nowbecause we’d probably have something very close to the Dutch system which would have prevented this catastrophe. So please let’s spare the righteous indignity crap. Let us also remember the the floods were so catastrphic because the federal levees didn’t hold. If the Hoover Dam broke, then you’d expect the feds to pay for the damge such a break caused. The nation needs people to live in Lousiana, to bring oil in and to ship goods out (maybe you don’t remember the barges with thousands of tons of American good rotting away). I am thankful for all of the help that people have done, but I have little patience that kind of talk.

  4. Science Daily – January, 2000
    “By the year 2100, the city of New Orleans may be extinct, submerged in water.” “….according to Dr. Chip Groat, Director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Washington, D.C., “With the projected rate of subsidence (the natural sinking of land), wetland loss, and sea level rise,” he said, “New Orleans will likely be on the verge of extinction by this time next century.”
    “University of New Orleans coastal geologist Dr. Shea Penland and coastal geomorphologist Dr. Denise Reed have spent their careers (combined 40 years) figuring out exactly what is driving this catastrophic condition. Their research has identified the specific problems jeopardizing the future of New Orleans and southern Louisiana. “We have the greatest coastal land loss problem in North America. This is more than a serious problem . . . it’s a catastrophic one. We’re living on the verge of a coastal collapse,” warns Dr. Penland.”
    “Currently, 40% of all coastal wetlands in the United States are located in Louisiana, and 80% of all wetland loss in our nation occurs in Louisiana. From 1930-1990, the Mississippi River Delta lost more than 1,000 square miles of land.”
    “Over the last 50 years, land loss rates had accelerated from 10 miles to 40 miles per year by the 1970s, with the current rate being approximately 25 square miles or 16,000 acres of wetlands a year. Coastal Louisiana is poised to lose more than 10,000 acres per year for the foreseeable future.”
    “New Orleans is sinking three feet per century–eight times faster than the worldwide rate of only 0.4 feet per century. Currently, New Orleans, on average, is eight feet below sea level–11 feet in some places.”
    So is 15 feet above sea level actually 7-4 feet above sea level? To get to 15 feet will the hospital have to be 26 feet above ground level? And Katrina was called a “natural” disaster. Get ready to continue to send your tax dollars to a literally sinking ship.

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