Major investors have created enormous economic and political pressures on LSU to build its $1.2 billion hospital in lower Mid-City
Casual observers might think that the pro-Charity vs. LSU teaching hospital conflict is an argument over two competing plans to bring health care back online in New Orleans. It is not. The difference between the two camps is in fact much more fundamental with the pro-Charity coalition valuing health as a human right versus LSU and its supporters valuing health care as a business anchor around which an industry can grow, land values can inflate, and hospitals can make money. No set of facts better illustrates this divide and fleshes out the LSU camp's motivations than the machinations of major real estate developers in Mid-City. In spite of the post-Katrina rise in mortality and morbidity rates —due to the local health care system's bedraggled state— LSU and its allies have stubbornly refused to entertain the notion of reopening Charity, favoring their economic development centered plans over what pro-Charity advocates define as an issue of the human right to medical care.
Into this conflict numerous journalists have intervened with facts and analysis. We (“A. Caritas” is a pen name for several researchers) reported in December about real estate acquisitions of several developers in and around lower Mid-City, questioning the for-profit motivations driving the LSU-VA project. New information about these developers and biotech boosters has compelled us to chime in again, especially in response to Times Picayune reporter Kate Moran's glowing profile of one Mid-City developer published in April.