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.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Patronage killing health hope for poor

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago)

The American Cancer Society recently announced it will devote its entire advertising budget to the tragedies caused by inadequate health insurance.

The uninsured are the least likely to have money for regular screenings such as mammograms and prostate exams. Yet preventive care is the most effective way to stop cancer in its tracks, averting costly treatment later. This is also true of diabetes, high blood pressure and other deadly ailments.

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, though, has slashed preventive care in county hospitals and clinics. Eight neighborhood clinics have been shuttered, along with a wing of the $551 million Stroger Hospital. Mammogram screenings have been eliminated, and specialty clinics devoted to treating high blood pressure and preventing heart disease and colon cancer have been shut down.
I don't mean to suggest that Stroger is insensitive to cancer-sufferers. As a decent man and a victim of prostate cancer, I'm sure he cares deeply about fighting that disease. But his policies have consequences for tens of thousands of Cook County residents who rely on the county for preventive health care. Stroger's interim health chief, Dr. Robert Simon, admitted to the Cook County Board earlier this year that residents will suffer from less access to basic care, longer wait times, less preventive care and a

potential increase in cancer deaths.

That's the price poor patients pay for a hospital system dominated by politics. The county has been a patronage dumping ground for years. Incompetent management has cost the county hundreds of millions of dollars that were never collected from Medicare and insurance companies.

With layoffs of doctors, nurses and medical technicians, it is increasingly difficult for professionals to care for their patients. The chief of internal medicine at Stroger Hospital, Dr. Avery Hart, warned in a July memo to Simon of an "impending collapse of general medicine at Stroger Hospital" due to the rapid loss of internists who were laid off or quit.

We can save this unique public asset if we finally remove politics from medicine.

Last year, I joined a majority of the County Board to sponsor an alternative budget that would have averted health-care cuts by slicing redundant layers of management. But several sponsors of our measure switched sides, providing the margin of victory for Stroger's deep service cuts.

The county will soon take up its 2008 budget. The choice will be the same: politics or health care. We will have another chance to attack the wasteful, patronage-laden bureaucracy. New and effective leadership for the county health bureau will be even more important.

Earlier this year, we replaced unqualified leaders of the county's Juvenile Detention Center with a nationally recognized expert. After years of neglect and abuse, the young residents of this facility now have hope for fair treatment, rehabilitation and a brighter future. That change was the result of continual pressure from members of the County Board, legal advocates, newspapers and citizens who were outraged that patronage and politics trumped real leadership.

Saving Cook County's vital health-care safety net will require a similar effort. If elected officials stand up, if church and neighborhood leaders come forward, if civic and business groups speak out, we can apply the pressure necessary for change. We have to act before the safety net is frayed beyond repair. Cook County's historical commitment to health care is worth preserving, for those who need it today and for generations to come.



Recent Headlines

Pappas: There's help for senior citizens struggling to pay Cook County property taxes
Friday, December 14, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Public Guardian sues DCFS: “Abject moral and human rights failure”
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Capitol Fax

Borrow $10B to help stabilize city pensions along with legal pot, casino and benefit cuts: Rahm
Thursday, December 13, 2018
The Daily Line

CTA Moves Forward with Major Red Line Projects:
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County repeals lower parking-app tax rate
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How local suburbs voted in Cook County minimum wage/paid sick leave advisory referenda
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Bugel

Cook County restores tax on parking apps before January cut took effect
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County Board to take on taxes,toilets at Wednesday meeting
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

PRECKWINKLE’s tax tweak — Details on BURKE raids — State REPUBLICANS look for hope — SUMMERS’ tirade
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Illinois Politico

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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