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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



County health board needs to probe itself

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
by Sun Times editorial staff

When Cook County commissioners earlier this year socked taxpayers with a sales tax increase -- the highest in the nation -- they offered a carrot along with the stick.

In return for paying higher sales taxes, the taxpayers would get an independent board, free of all political influence, to oversee the county's nearly $1 billion health-care system, which includes the three county hospitals.

The idea was simple. Health-care, business and finance professionals, not beholden to the elected county commissioners, would chop out the waste and cronyism that have infected the county's health-care system for decades, creating a more efficient system that serves the poor better.

Well, it's looking like taxpayers have gotten the ol' bait and switch.

That appears to be the sad moral of a story that ran in the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday, by reporter Mark Konkol, chronicling more shenanigans in the county health system.

In this latest installment, Cook County Commissioner Joseph Moreno is accused of pushing a friend and political supporter to get a piece of a multimillion-dollar hospital billing collection contract.

The main contractor, Med Assets Inc., went along with it, cutting Moreno's pal in on the action, until the pal allegedly began overbilling for work. At that point, Med Assets fired Moreno's pal.

Then, a bad thing happened to Med Assets.

We're sure it's pure coincidence.

Another pal of Moreno's, Dr. Luis Munoz, who sits on the county's "independent" health care board, successfully proposed auditing Med Assets.

Now, we're always in favor of keeping a close eye on taxpayer money, but this is one call for an audit that raises questions -- Med Assets had submitted only one bill.

Moreno acknowledges that he recommended his friend's firm be hired as a minority subcontractor, but he denies any undue influence on either his pal's contract or the proposal to audit Med Assets.

The owner of Med Assets views it differently and has reported the matter to the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

We're sure Patrick Fitzgerald's crack team will get to the bottom of it, but the county's "independent" health-care board needs to conduct its own investigation. This is a matter that undermines some of the good work the board has done so far.

The board is truly independent only if it is free from the influence of every politician with a buddy who needs work.

And if some members of the board think this is just the dirty reality they must accept to get things done in Cook County, they are wrong.



Recent Headlines

Cook County forest district poised to regain 400-acre Barrington Hills farm, but foreclosed owners hope hemp crop can bail them out
Monday, June 24, 2019
Chicago Tribune

County assessor nixes help wanted request to commissioners after watchdog raises concerns
Monday, June 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget woes at Cook County health system threaten insurance program used by more than 300,000 residents
Friday, June 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property tax pinch: Average North Sider’s bill to rise by $536, South Sider’s by $23
Friday, June 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Own property on Chicago’s North Side or central core? Expect a big tax hike
Friday, June 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

If you live in these areas, your property taxes are about to soar
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County property tax bills posted online ahead of mailing, taxes due August 1
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Cook County Assessor’s Office asks commissioners to lend staff — and is told, yeah, we’re pretty busy
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Program Focuses on ‘Whole Person Care’
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
WTTW News

Beekeeping Behind Bars: Inmates Raise Bees at Cook County Jail
Friday, June 14, 2019
WTTW News

Court rules county retirees entitled to health care no matter who last employer was
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Prevent Illinois from being the next ground zero for measles
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

all news items

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