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Mayor Bloomberg Defends Beyonce's VIP Treatment at Lenox Hill Hospital

By Jill Colvin | January 10, 2012 3:45pm
A pregnant Beyonce hosts the screening of 'Live at Roseland: The Elements of 4' at the Paris Theatre on November 20, 2011 in New York City.
A pregnant Beyonce hosts the screening of 'Live at Roseland: The Elements of 4' at the Paris Theatre on November 20, 2011 in New York City.
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Jemal Countess/Getty Images

MIDTOWN — Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s VIP treatment at Lenox Hill Hospital Tuesday, arguing big spenders like them help subsidize other patients' care.

The power couple and their little bundle of joy, Blue Ivy Carter, have been under fire from angry parents who’ve complained about being blocked from seeing their newborns thanks to airtight security measures for the superstar couple, who reportedly rented out the fourth floor of the hospital for $1.3 million.

But Bloomberg, himself a dad, cautioned naysayers against criticizing the private hospital for having "executive wings" available for rent.

“Let’s step back a little bit here,” he told reporters at an unrelated press conference in Midtown.

“If [the hospital] got paid a lot of money and it let them provide services to other people who don’t have insurance or can’t afford it, I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing," he said.

Bloomberg said the suites can be "an enormous revenue source" at a time when budgets are tight.

“I don’t think you should keep people from seeing their babies, or whatever, but have different services for people who are full-paying patients," he said. “It’s easy to go and criticize, but somebody’s got to pay.”

Lenox Hill Hospital Executive Director Frank Danza has dismissed accusations that the high-powered couple was afforded special treatment, saying they were billed "the standard rate" for a hospital executive suite. The staff “made every effort to ensure minimal disruption to other families experiencing the births of their own children over the past three days,” Danza said.

Asked whether the city would allow a famous patient to take over a floor in a city-run hospital, Bloomberg said, “I don’t think we do.”

Blue and her parents caused quite a stir at the quiet Upper East Side medical center, where scores of journalists, including dozens of photographers and TV crews, had flocked for a glimpse of the tot, born Saturday night.

Nearly 50 reporters camped by the front entrance of the hospital, while another crowd staked out a back door.

In addition to the paparazzi following, Blue Ivy already has her own song, "Glory Feat. B.I.C.," which Jay-Z released on Twitter Monday.

Hospital spokeswoman Margarita Oksenkrug denied the couple spent $1.3 million for their stay, which ended late Monday, but would not disclose an amount.