Feds question New Orleans hospital plans

While the state of Louisiana would like to put a 484-bed teaching and research hospital in downtown New Orleans, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development isn't sure it's a good idea. HUD has agreed to release $74 million to buy land and prepare a design for the next Charity Hospital, which sat in downtown New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. But HUD isn't thrilled about the idea of giving the state an additional $150 million or so to build the hospital. In a letter to Governor Kathleen Blanco (D), HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson ripped apart the state's plans for the hospital, suggesting that the proposed hospital was bigger than needed to meet local demand, making it unlikely that the facility would be solvent over the long term.

To learn more about the dispute:
- read this Times-Picayune piece