ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports:
The health reform Christmas gifts for Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska are well known . But somewhere out there is another good little legislator who got funding for a hospital in their state.
But which senator? Which hospital? It is a health care whodunit.
Somewhere out there in the United States is 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.”
We know this because in the bill Democrats released Saturday morning is a $100,000,000 check for that hospital (presumably there is only one).
Republicans poring over the bill Democrats released Saturday found this on page 328:
“(a) APPROPRIATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated, and there are appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services, $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2010, to remain available for obligation until September 30, 2011, to be used for debt service on, or direct construction or renovation of, a health care facility that provides research, inpatient tertiary care, or outpatient clinical services. Such facility shall 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.” (Manager’s Amendment To H.R. 3590, Pg. 328)
We have asked for some clarification from Democrats.
Meantime, one Republican quipped: “If taxpayers are going to be expected to sign the check, Democrats should at least let them know who to make it out to.”
Democratic staffers say there are 11 states with medical schools that could qualify for the funding (we’re still waiting for the list). The Secretary of HHS would decide who gets a piece of the $100,000,000 pie.