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 Indiana University? 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 million 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?