Westchester County, N.Y., officials proposed refinancing tobacco settlement proceeds to immediately infuse $27 million into Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, with more aid promised over the next 25 years. The hospital has had annual deficits as high as $80 million in recent years. The proposal involves refinancing "tobacco securitization bonds" sold in 1999 following the settlement of national lawsuits against tobacco manufacturers. After this year's payment, the refinancing is projected to yield about $4 million for the medical center next year and a total of $240 million over the 25-year life of the bonds, officials said. In February, the hospital unveiled a one-year plan for financial stability that called for $20 million contributions each from the county, state and federal government, along with $20 million in concessions from the hospital's unions and $20 million from cost-saving measures. -- by Cinda Becker
Plan would give N.Y. hospital $27 million in 2005 aid
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