The bitter war over Northeastern Hospital isn't over yet.
Most of the battles in this months-long conflict have been won by Temple University Health System officials, who announced in March their decision to close the Port Richmond hospital because of mounting financial losses.
Hundreds of layoffs followed when the hospital ceased inpatient services on June 30.
Now, state Rep. John Taylor and other leaders who had fought to save the ill-fated hospital have fired a salvo that could deprive Temple University of $175 million in state and federal funds.
"We told them we'd do this. Apparently they didn't understand," Taylor said. "Now, they have a mess on their hands."
A bill that would provide Temple with millions of dollars through a nondeferred appropriation was pulled from the state House of Representatives yesterday, Taylor said.
Similar bills for other schools, such as Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh, were moved to a third and final stage of consideration.
Taylor said state House leaders will vote on the final bills once the state budget is settled.
By that time, Temple "could be dead in the water," he added.
Ken Lawrence Jr., Temple's senior vice president for government, community and public affairs, said the loss in state and federal funds would lead to "a tuition increase of 45 percent, or roughly $5,000" for Temple's undergraduate students.
"We respect Representative Taylor and stand ready to discuss his concerns," Lawrence added. "However, our students should not be punished with a potentially devastating tuition increase."
Temple's current undergraduate tuition rate is $11,273 to $13,511.
Taylor vowed to cut off funding to Temple University and Temple Health System days after health-system officials announced that Northeastern would close.
"They took it pretty lightly," he said.
"They treated the community like some arrogant, thoughtless private entity, so we're treating them like an arrogant, thoughtless, private entity."
He and other leaders, including state Rep. Dennis O'Brien, and state Sens. Mike Stack and Larry Farnese, publicly lobbied to save the hospital, which served Port Richmond, Fishtown, Kensington and Bridesburg.
Temple Health officials said Northeastern had lost $6.6 million in fiscal year 2008, and was due to lose another $15 million this year.
The pols said Edmond Notebaert, the health system's president and chief executive, had stabbed them in the back by not seeking their input.
In April, Taylor convinced Temple Health officials to hold off dismantling portions of the hospital for 30 days in the hopes that a miracle cure could be found. It never materialized.
The hospital closed as scheduled but began offering an array of outpatient services on July 1.
Taylor said health-system officials ignored his offers to help them find additional tenants to make consistent use of the hospital building.