Occupy Wall Street protesters will march at 3PM today to the former site of St. Vincent’s, the public hospital which closed in a suspicious bankruptcy last year. Via press release:
St. Vincent’s was a Catholic-run hospital, which had a charity mission to serve the under-insured and uninsured. St. Vincent’s lacked the corporate clout to negotiate fair reimbursement rates from profit-driven insurance companies, leading to financial instability. Moreover, the short-term focus of the highly-paid executives and consultants pushed St. Vincent’s into bankruptcy – leading to a public health emergency: there is now no hospital on the Westside below 57th Street.
Two months ago, The New York Post reported that the Manhattan District Attorney was investigating whether hospital executives intentionally let St. Vincent’s fail, so that the Rudin Management Company could buy the hospital’s real estate as part of a controversial luxury condominium development project. Rudin paid pennies on the dollar to buy the hospital’s real estate, and Rudin now stands to sell luxury condominiums and townhouses, once constructed, that are expected to have a combined fair-market value of over $1 billion.
RELATED: Thousands of gay men died at St. Vincent’s over the worst of the AIDS years. Despite horror stories about mistreatment at other hospitals, gay men were always treated respectfully at St. Vincent’s, whose AIDS ward became a national model. When the hospital closed, its front door was festooned with grateful notes from survivors and loved ones.