NPR, September 2, 2011

When the Walter Reed Army Medical Center was slated for closure back in 1995, the goals were to improve care for wounded soldiers, and to save money. The final patients left this past week. But with closing Walter Reed now estimated to cost more than $1 billion more than originally predicted, it could take many years before the military will realize any savings. The medical center has acres of tall oaks and several large buildings, on a campus in the middle of Washington, DC. A big reason for closing Walter Reed is to make the hospital more efficient and save money. Shutting Walter Reed, and shifting it across town to Bethesda and other locations, will save $172 million each year. But here's the problem. The cost to close Walter Reed and rebuild it elsewhere has gone up -- a lot. The original estimate of the cost from 2005 was just under $900 million. Today it is now about $2.7 billion, so it's about tripled.

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