Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is Wishard ObamaCare's Mystery Hospital?

Earlier today, the guys over at Power Line began to ask questions about a mysterious and unidentified hospital due to receive a big pile of money under Harry Reid's version of ObamaCare:

There are carve-outs for Nebraska, Vermont, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, and a mystery state no one's been able to figure out yet: "$100,000,000 for a 'Health Care Facility' 'at a public research university in the United States that contains a state's sole public academic medical and dental school'" (p. 328 of the manager's amendment).

They've been digging into the identity of this hospital:

Many readers have written in offering good candidates for the state whose university health care facility will be the beneficiary of the $100 million payday under the mysterious provision at page 328 of the Obamacare manager's amendment that the Senate will be voting on this week. Late this afternoon ABC picked up the scent of the story, as has Politico. ABC quotes the comment of one Republican source: "If taxpayers are going to be expected to sign the check, Democrats should at least let them know who to make it out to."

Is there not a single Democratic Senator sufficiently sickened by this putrid legislation to oppose it? What a revolting farce.

Later in the evening, Power Line heard from someone in the Senate that believes that Indianapolis' own Wishard Memorial Hospital is the mystery hospital due the $100 million allocated in the bill:

GOP Senate staffers speculate that the mystery hospital may be in...Indiana:

A good candidate for the mystery $100 million may be Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. Wishard recently won approval for construction of a new hospital in downtown Indianapolis. If Wishard is not the intended beneficiary, they can make a credible case that they should be eligible for a share of the money.

Under Section 10502 of the Reid Amendment, the beneficiary of the $100 million must be "affiliated with an academic health center at a public research university in the United States that contains a state's sole public academic medical and dental school." Is it affiliated with an academic health center? According to its Web site: "Wishard is proud to be one of the leading providers of healthcare in the city of Indianapolis with physicians of the Indiana University School of Medicine providing a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services." Are they owned by the University of Indiana? No. Are they affiliated? Looks like they are.

Is IU the only public academic medical and dental school in Indiana? According to the Web sites of the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Dental Association, it is.

Is the project "essential for the continued financial viability of the state's sole medical and dental school and its academic health center" as the provision requires? According to nine university presidents in Indiana, including the President of the University of Indiana, it is.

Has the state established a dedicated funding stream for the project? Yes. In November, voters approved $700 billion in bonds to fund the project.

Would the federal government provide less than 40 percent of the project? Yes. The proposal provides only $100 million of the $700 million project.

Can we say with certainty that Wishard is the intended beneficiary of this provision? No. But we think it is a pretty strong case they are eligible for the money.

One reader working on the case for us has identified Colorado as the probable beneficiary. He doubts Indiana because the required guberantorial application for the funds suggests the cooperation of an allied Democratic governor, though he concedes that Evan Bayh may have been working his own deal.

Where is the transparency? Do transparent payoffs qualify?

Could this be a pay-off for Evan Bayh?

Nebraska gets the rest of the country to pick up the tab for increased Medicaid costs.

And Indiana? Indiana gets $100 million for a hospital in Indianapolis that most Hoosiers won't even use?

If that's Evan Bayh's idea of being bought off, then he's dumber than I thought.