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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Our View: Control of County's Aging Health System

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Daily Southtown
Editorial

The Issue: A group of concerned citizens has proposed that an outside group of experts take control of the county's ailing health bureau.

We say: This proposal should be adopted. Politics needs to be moved from the system if it ever is expected to become effective again.

A group of educated, caring and responsible Cook County civic leaders has come up with a wonderfully innovative idea to help rescue the county's floundering public health system. A measure of just how much potential this plan has can be found in the fact that the established powers that be in Cook County - the ones who created and have perpetuated the current health care mess - are already lining up in opposition of it.

They're opposed because it would reduce power and create accountability, two consequences that would cause great angst within the regular Democratic Party of Cook County.

The group, called the Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services, has proposed establishing an "emergency trusteeship" that would take control of the county's public health bureau away from the Cook County Board for a period of three years, by which time needed reforms could be made to salvage a system that serves a million residents annually.

The trusteeship would be made up of nine individuals - six from prominent medical organizations, one from the Chicago Federation of Labor and two from the county board itself. This panel would be charged with ensuring high-quality health care, improving fiscal practices, eliminating political interference and streamlining governance.

In the process, it is hoped the panel would restore "faith and public trust in the Cook County health care system," as one proponent of the plan said.

The system long has been at the center of controversy. After decades of being a haven for patronage workers, the health bureau has been struggling to fulfill its mission. Though dedicated doctors and nurses provide the best care they can, the bureau has been spinning out of control because of poor oversight, financial mismanagement and low employee morale.

In an attempt to cut costs amid a severe budget crisis, the county board earlier this year eliminated 500 doctors and nurses and closed several health facilities. The long-term care facility at Oak Forest Hospital, which had a well-deserved reputation for providing quality care, was shut down. Meanwhile, $200 million in Medicare and Medicaid funds remained uncollected by the county because of grossly negligent administrative practices.

U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) warned County Board President Todd Stroger that the county was at risk of losing federal funding unless it cleaned up the health bureau's act. That led to an independent panel's examination of the system. Much to Stroger's chagrin, the panel came down hard on the county, and its findings boosted the Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services' call for an outside oversight board.

An ordinance creating such a board soon will be introduced by Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston). We urge the board to approve it. However, it's unlikely Stroger and his cronies, who have the majority on the board, will support it. They don't want to rock the boat, even if it is sinking. But the oversight board is the best idea we've heard of to hoist the system out of the quagmire it's in. By rejecting it, Stroger and his gang would in effect be saying they're not serious about instituting needed reform. But what do they care? It's only people's lives we're talking about here.

The only way to fix this system is to take politics out of it. But that's a surgical procedure even the best doctors may find impossible to perform.



Recent Headlines

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arenít sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

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