Leaders cool to proposal to fund Grady Hospital
Cagle calls resolution adopted by the Grady
ATLANTA — Grady Memorial Hospital shouldn’t be counting on a big check from the state anytime soon.
A day after the board of the Atlanta hospital voted to change its governing structure to attract an infusion of dollars, Georgia political leaders on Tuesday balked at the price tag.
Grady’s board called for a written guarantee that the state will pay $30 million a year to prop up the hospital, which serves a large number of poor and uninsured Georgia residents.
“I have no intention of signing an unenforceable document that seeks to bind the state to a specific, annual appropriation,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle echoed that sentiment, calling the resolution adopted by the Grady board a starting point.
“You can’t enter into a contract that’s going to go on for eternity, and that’s really what has been requested,” Cagle said.
Through a spokeswoman, House Speaker Glenn Richardson declined to comment.
The Grady board asked for a written commitment from all three leaders, pledging the state dollars. They are also asking the state to pump money into the state’s cash-strapped network of trauma centers. Grady is one of the state’s few level-one trauma centers.
A stalemate could prompt lawmakers to pass legislation requiring the hospital to adopt nonprofit status without any guarantee of additional state money.
Cagle said “the worst-case scenario” would be if lawmakers came back to the Capitol without a resolution in the Grady funding crisis.
“The mood of the Legislature is to ensure that Grady stays viable and maybe change would be in order,” Cagle said.