Closing Cooper Green
5:33 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Broke Ala. County Delays Decision On Indigent Care

Commissioners in bankrupt Jefferson County have delayed a decision on whether to close its charity hospital serving the poor.

Commission President David Carrington recessed a meeting indefinitely Tuesday after chaos erupted in the packed commission chamber.

Demonstrators yelling and singing civil rights protest songs prevented members from discussing the future of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

The hospital is costing the county millions of dollars annually, and supporters of the shutdown say the county can't afford it.

Some commissioners oppose the move, and protesters disrupted their talks.

Jefferson County filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history last year over $4 billion in debt. The hospital proposal is tied more to shortfalls in the county's operating budget

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.