Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



To put it charitably, hospital proposal isn't fair

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times

There's no argument over whether nonprofit hospitals in Illinois should be required to provide a minimum amount of charitable and other community services to justify their tax-free status. And there shouldn't be any argument that Lisa Madigan, in her capacity as attorney general, has every right to scrutinize hospitals' performance in this area. It's the particulars of Madigan's aggressive campaign to make hospitals more accountable that is open to debate.

The latest development on this issue is a survey -- funded by a union with its own agenda against the hospitals -- that looked at 21 hospitals in Cook County and reported they enjoyed $326 million in tax breaks while making only $105 million in charitable contributions. The only problem is that every reasonable person agrees the survey's focus on a hospital's benefit to a community was too narrowly defined, restricted to just charity care. That myopic viewpoint might be used to support Madigan, who wants to require hospitals to substantially increase their free or deeply discounted care to the poor. A proposal requiring them to contribute 8 percent of operating costs stalled, but armed with this new study by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, she may resume pushing a mandatory percentage.

But before legislators rush to judgment, they should consider the sound arguments against the survey's methods in assessing charitable contributions. What also must be taken into account are factors including the Medicaid shortfall assumed by hospitals -- the difference between what the government gives them for treating the poor and the actual costs for that treatment -- and bad debts they assume for patients qualifying for charity care. Then there are other benefits from nonprofits such as the operation of trauma centers.

Imposing a statewide uniform requirement fails to take into account that different hospitals in different locations may need to meet different needs. It isn't fair to judge a big metropolitan hospital by the same standards as one in a Downstate location, or vice versa. Local taxing bodies drawn from the community are best situated to make these kinds of decisions -- after all, we're talking about local property taxes. In fact, there already is a state-required reporting system to help them make those decisions. More than 100 hospitals statewide provide detailed reports of community benefits under the Illinois Community Benefits Act. These reports yield data on charity care, Medicaid care, subsidized health services, and educational, research and volunteer services provided by hospitals. The Illinois Hospital Association compiled the information for 52 nonprofit hospitals in Cook County and found they contributed more than $2 billion in community benefits.

There's no need for the Legislature to mandate a one-size-fits-all standard and usurp local decisionmaking on such a crucial issue as community health-care needs.



Recent Headlines

Thursday’s the deadline for sending in your mail-in ballot application. If you miss it, here are some options.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Sheriff says ‘communities will be safer’ in regards to changes in electronic monitoring
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
WGN Channel 9 News

Voting at Cook County Jail Sees 40% Turnout for General Election
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
WTTW News

Antibody drug tested in Cook County may be helpful to some COVID-19 patients, results show
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE 2020 Schedule for The Family &Friends Network
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County launches jobs training, placement program for suburbs as stricter COVID-19 measures go into effect
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court expands volunteer program to cut backlog of appeals in criminal cases
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Community Recovery Initiative: Cash and Utility Assistance
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Behind the scenes look at Cook County mail-in ballot processing for 2020 election
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
ABC 7 WLS Chicago

How to apply for Cook County coronavirus relief payments
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago restaurants close for winter as COVID case counts rise
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Suburban Cook voters can stop fretting over fate of mail ballots — but final results are another matter
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Suburban Cook County ‘on pace’ to shatter all previous voting records in last week of election, clerk says
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Chicago Tribune

‘Blindsided and heartbroken.’ Mood of restaurant, bar owners dismal as COVID restrictions are back in suburban Cook
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Tribune

State to implement additional mitigation measures in suburban Cook County
Monday, October 26, 2020
Cook County Department of Public Health

State Public Health Officials Announce COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations to Take Effect in Regions 4 and 10 on October 28, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
Illinois Dept. of Public Health

Cook County property tax revenue rising faster than inflation and wages, study says
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Struggling suburban Cook County residents can apply for one-time cash payment
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County to give direct payments to suburban residents hurt by COVID-19 pandemic: ‘What they need is cash’
Monday, October 26, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP