Public hospital board scraps federal finance idea
BATON ROUGE, La. - The management group overseeing plans to build a New Orleans public medical center has withdrawn its request for federal financing to back any debt involved in the hospital construction.
The University Medical Center request was scrapped Thursday, in a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, after running into opposition from U.S. Sen. David Vitter and other leaders about the planned size of the $1.2 billion facility.
Instead, any borrowing needed to finance the project will have to be done on the private bond market.
The UMC governing board wants a final plan for the hospital complete in September.
Under pressure from Vitter and other fellow Republican leaders, Gov. Bobby Jindal has encouraged the board to look at different options and possibly scale back the medical