The real motivation for all that Ebola preparedness comes out:
(PORKVILLE) - Senator Chuck Schumer on Monday called on U.S. secretary of health and human services Sylvia Mathews Burwell to recognize the enormous amount New York hospitals have spent preparing for and treating the Ebola virus, and use some of the money she was given by Congress to reimburse hospitals for their expenses.Try and look surprised at the prospect of a Democrat senator trying to shove both arms armpit deep into the taxpayers' pockets and keep everything he can get his hands on.
Burwell has 30 days to come up with a spending plan for the $733 million her agency received from the latest continuing resolution, a $1.1 trillion spending package that allotted a total of $5.4 billion to combat Ebola.
Most of that money is headed to West Africa, where the epidemic continues to claim thousands of lives, but some can be used domestically.
Schumer said he would like New York hospitals to receive roughly $50 million
“I am urging secretary Burwell to make sure all of New York's institutions are completely reimbursed for their funding,” Schumer said at a press conference today outside Bellevue Hospital. “That was the purpose of the fund when we push for it and created it.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has already reimbursed Bellevue, a part of the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation, $20 million for the expenses it incurred when treating Dr. Craig Spencer, the physician who contracted Ebola while working with Doctors Without Borders in West Africa.
But other hospitals have spent tens of millions of dollars preparing for the virus, Schumer said.
Montefiore has spent approximately $7.5 million building a biocontainment unit and training staff, Mount Sinai has spent between $7 and $8 million, and New York Presbyterian has spent roughly $3.3 million, according to Schumer's office.
Ken Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, estimated the ten Ebola-designated hospitals in New York have collectively spent between $50 million and $75 million on capital construction, the purchase of protective gear and training.
Webster's Dictionary could save space by consolidating the entry for Chuck and the entry for chutzpah. Or at least using the same picture.