Mercy Health Partners said Thursday it has shelved plans to build a new downtown hospital because of the economy and uncertainty over the national health care debate.
The unanimous decision made by Mercy's board of directors comes a year after the health system announced that it would build a $400 million replacement facility on the site of the former Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee if certain financial benchmarks were met.
"The economy has put us in a position where we can't do it," said Jerry Askew, senior vice president of external affairs for Mercy Health.
In addition to the economy, hospital officials also cited "the unpredictability of the national health care policy debate."
The Obama administration has announced its intention to enact sweeping health care reform this year.
"The only certainty is that reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid are going to go down," Askew said.
If I had to guess, this won't be the only hospital or medical facility to shelve plans for upgrades or expansions due to the economy and the proposed destruction of the health care system in the US.
This may be an indication that Obama will do for health care what he's done from GM and Chysler.
May God have mercy on us....