Jefferson County's Money Woes To Close Hospital
Financially troubled Jefferson County plans to quit admitting patients to its hospital for the poor. The County Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to end inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The county also asked a bankruptcy court judge to stop a lawsuit by the city of Birmingham that seeks to keep the hospital operating. The county filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in November, citing more than $4 billion in debt. It was the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Commissioners said the county could no longer afford to underwrite the hospital. The change will take effect by Dec. 1. Hospital CEO Sandral Hulett said Cooper Green had 40 patients Tuesday. After the commissioners' vote, hospital supporters stood outside commission offices singing songs about keeping the hospital open. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.