Thursday, August 06, 2009

Star Thinks Wishard Referendum Question Is Light On Details

Star business reporter Dan Lee has a story today that echos my post from earlier this week raising questions about the wording of a referendum Marion County has certified on behalf of the Health & Hospital Corporation asking voters to approve up to $750 million in borrowing to construct a new hospital.

You'd never guess Wishard wants to build a new $754 million hospital complex based on the ballot question that will decide the issue.

Marion County voters heading to the polls Nov. 3 will read a ballot question on whether to approve financing for the proposed hospital -- but that question provides no information about project financing.

No mention of the estimated cost.

No mention of the expected debt level of roughly $613 million.

The ballot question doesn't even say that Wishard expects to complete the project with no need for additional tax money.

Instead, the three-part question, posted at, says the project would allow Wishard to provide health care, including specialized services such as high-level trauma and burn treatments, to all county residents, regardless of ability to pay, and would help train future doctors, nurses and other health workers.
You've got to love this quote from the HHC's CEO: "We in conjunction with the (county) auditor tried to be very careful and meticulous in providing a description of the project," said Matthew Gutwein, chief executive officer of the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, which operates Wishard Health Services." Gutwein is lucky he's not the CEO of a publicly-traded company. Enticing investors and lenders with the kind of misleading and false statements his ballot question represents would lead some folks to accuse you of committing securities fraud. I guess when it's the government making the misrepresentations, it's okay.


Citizen Kane said...

Shall Wishard Hospital be permitted to issue taxpayer-backed bonds of $613 million to construct a $754 million dollar hospital?

The PR stuff does not need to be in there. But it could go on to say:

Services provided within the proposed hospital would include......

That was real hard, wasn't it?

Downtown Indy said...


For many, if not most in politics, telling the truth simply and unambiguously is VERY hard to do.

Which is really one of the biggest problems for us as taxpayers and constituents.