Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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.
   
     
     
     



County can't put residents' health at risk

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Daily Southtown
Editorial

The issue: The head of the Cook County health bureau says that if more funding isn't provided, the consequences could be life-threatening.


We say: Budget cuts made this year were too severe. The county needs to ensure that it can provide the services that residents need, even if it means fewer political hires within the bureau.

There's a health crisis in Cook County.

The head of the county's public health bureau said so.

Dr. Robert Simon said that unless his bureau gets more money in 2008 -- $119 million, to be exact -- "people will suffer ... people are probably going to die ... for lack of care."

It was both heartening and strange to hear those words come from Dr. Simon's mouth. Heartening because it shows a public official sparing no words in bringing to light a genuine problem. Strange because it is the same Dr. Simon who recently oversaw cuts of $107 million from what had been an $845-million health system.

Simon contends that, amid a major budget crisis countywide, he had no other choice but to make severe cuts this year. Simon said it was essential to take out "all the garbage" within certain areas of bureau.

But the cuts, according to a Daily Southtown analysis, also included 260 doctors and 230 nurses. The budget cuts also included the excellent long-term care unit and skilled nursing unit at Oak Forest Hospital.

In the meantime, some lower-level workers, whose jobs were acquired through political connections, no doubt remained employed through the most recent budget cycle -- though their duties likely were more expendable than nearly 500 doctors and nurses.

It's unfortunate that a critical need of our community -- public health -- has become such a political football within the county's budget process. Yet we believe Simon when he says people could die from lack of care.

County officials must find a way to ensure that existing health services are maintained or improved. Simon told county board members he would like to restore some primary care services that were cut this year and increase the number of hip and joint replacements the county can perform. He said he regrets having to cut in those areas this year but had to deal with the target numbers he was handed.

Simon's new wish list appears to be a valid one. The county cannot do without essential services and adequate personnel.

Thus, officials have their work cut out for them in the upcoming months trying to find the $119 million that's needed. We hope officials take a more honest look at their payroll and the contracts they've approved and ensure that political favoritism is not trumping health care.

The county also must continue to strive to improve its billing system. Simon admitted problems in this area still exist. But with millions of dollars at stake, work toward a solution needs to be expedited.

Simon has a unique way with words, and on occasion that brings heat upon him -- some of it justified. However, he spoke passionately to board members about the need to keep public health care vibrant. He called the Cook County system "the Mayo Clinic of public hospitals."

We agree with him on the county's obligation to provide the finest health services possible. But we still feel politics interferes too often with that goal. With lives at stake, that simply cannot be allowed.



Recent Headlines

Why some Cook County voters are still waiting for mail-in ballots
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Daily Herald

Editorial: Impact of COVID-19 emphasizes role of ACA in Cook County budgeting
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Daily Herald

Cook County tosses ‘lifeline’ to needy residents, opening housing voucher waiting list for first time since 2001
Monday, October 19, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: COVID-19 cases on the rise in long-term care facilities; applications open for relief fund for restaurant workers
Monday, October 19, 2020
Chicago Tribune

For first time in nearly 20 years, Cook County opens suburban housing voucher waitlist. At least 10K people already applied.
Monday, October 19, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Preckwinkle balances the county’s COVID budget. Next up, Lightfoot.
Monday, October 19, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Gov. J.B. Pritzker blames President Trump and his allies for coronavirus spike in Illinois
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Chicago Tribune

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle outlines $6.9 billion budget plan: ‘This pandemic has dealt Cook County and its residents a catastrophic blow’
Friday, October 16, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle touts restorative justice in budget that slashes court, jail funding: ‘We cannot police our way out’
Friday, October 16, 2020
The Daily Line

‘We Are In a New Wave of COVID-19’: Pritzker
Friday, October 16, 2020
WTTW News

Everything You Need To Know About Voting Drop Boxes In Illinois
Friday, October 16, 2020
WBEZ News

Pritzker Extends Ban on Evictions for 7th Month
Friday, October 16, 2020
WTTW News

Pritzker to extend eviction moratorium another 30 days: ‘Nothing really has changed’
Friday, October 16, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Record-high Illinois COVID-19 caseload, hospitalizations and positive test rate rising: ‘We are in a new wave
Friday, October 16, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

A Cook County budget built to ‘weather the storm’ — but the rain had better be moving on
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Layoffs, cutting vacant jobs all part of Preckwinkle’s $6.9 billion budget plan to ride out COVID-19 storm
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

6 more Cook County chief judge’s office employees test positive for COVID-19
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Fox 32 Chicago

Preckwinkle's good-news budget: No tax hikes, minimal layoffs
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Politicians renew call to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day
Monday, October 12, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

13 more deaths, 2,742 new cases reported as Illinois’ coronavirus positivity rate ticks upward
Monday, October 12, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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