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Sandy Cost to N.Y. City Hospitals: $800M

The impact of Hurricane Sandy on the New York City public hospital system will exceed $800 million, an official said.

Alan Aviles, the president of the city's Health and Hospitals Corp., said the $800 million will cover response, repairs, revenue loss and permanent reconstruction needed to prevent future damage, also called "hardening" the system.

According to Aviles, who made the announcement Tuesday after touring Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the majority of the costs will involve repair and restoration to electrical, water, heating, communications systems and patient-care areas at Coney Island Hospital, Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, and the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island.

Schumer is lobbying for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"This is such a huge institution, and it wasn't that one part of it was hurt, the whole thing was hurt," Schumer said at a Coney Island Hospital press conference. "And so the breadth of it is just astounding -- how big the job is to rebuild, to get everything back."

Aviles said the impact of Sandy on HHC includes a range of repairs at other HHC facilities including Harlem Hospital, Metropolitan Hospital, Queens Hospital Center, Jacobi Hospital, Kings County Hospital and Gouverneur Health.

He estimated a $472.5 million loss for estimated permanent reconstruction and hazard mitigation costs; $180 million in estimated revenue losses; $137.5 million in emergency protective measures; and $20 million in estimated storm preparation and response.

According to a financial statement posted on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's EMMA website, Health and Hospitals Corp. had about $1 billion in long-term debt financing relating to its capital assets. Since 2008, it has refinanced most of its insured bonds. It listed its debt as 82% fixed with very little insured, and 18% variable secured by letters of credit.

Moody's Investors Service rates the corporation Aa3 on more than 99% of its fixed-rate bonds where no insurance exists, while Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings each assign A-plus ratings. All three assign stable outlooks.

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