posted on May 17, 2011 18:00
The lobbying war between WakeMed’s Plebes and UNC Hospital’s Aristocrats in the legislature just took a wild turn at the Aristocrats’ expense.
So far the Plebes have been set on cutting UNC’s $44 million state tax subsidy but then, last week, Plebe chieftain Bill Atkinson surprised everyone by announcing he wanted to buy Raleigh’s Rex Hospital from the UNC Aristocrats – for $750 million.
The Raleigh newspaper expressed some qualms about Atkinson eliminating his competition by buying it but you have to admit his timing was brilliant.
The UNC Aristocrats are asking financially strapped legislators to give them $44 million – while Atkinson’s offering to pay the same legislators $750 million.
Naturally the dominoes started falling in the Plebes’ direction with the Governor and the Senate and House Leaders all eyeing the $750 million and saying they’d have to consider the offer ‘very carefully’ – then the unexpected happened.
Old Senate bull-moose Tom Apodaca, who runs the State Senate, threw a wrench in the works by telling the News and Observer the Plebes’ takeover bid was dead-on-arrival in the Senate – $750 million or no $750 million.
Score Round Two to the Aristocrats.