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AL inner-city hospital turns to bankruptcy judge for help

The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2012

The battle over Jefferson County's hospital for the poor has spilled over into its Chapter 9 bankruptcy case, illuminating another financial hardship facing Alabama's biggest county. Against threats that the 319-bed facility may one day close, a patient of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital has asked the county's bankruptcy judge to protect the stream of money that is supposed to flow to the facility. But the inner city hospital's finances have come under scrutiny as state and county leaders question whether the facility has made enough financial sacrifices while other county departments such as the sheriff's office and the public works department are pressed with steep cuts. The county has laid off more than 1,000 employees in recent years.