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.

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



Health care ruling a 'win, win, win' for Cook County, health official says

Thursday, June 28, 2012

by Alex Keefe

The head of Cook County's hospital system had high praise for the U.S. Supreme Court's health care ruling Thursday, saying the justices' decision to uphold a planned expansion of Medicaid could mean tens of millions of dollars a year for the cash-strapped health care network.

"It is a win, win, win for everybody" in Cook County, said Dr. Ram Raju, CEO of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System. "It is a win-win for the patients first. Second, we get an opportunity to redesign the system ... the way it should be redesigned."

The high court's decision could clear the way for the county's hospital system to rake in up to $70 million a year in new federal reimbursements for Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor. President Barack Obama's health care law expands Medicaid coverage to people making less than $14,856 a year, starting in 2014.

The hospital system serves about 100,000 of those patients each year, many of whom don't have insurance but currently make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Thursday's ruling means Cook County could soon begin to get federal money to help pay for their care, Raju said.

Twenty-six states had challenged part of the health care law that would have let the federal government withhold Medicaid money if states chose not to comply with its requirements. On Thursday, justices ruled it is okay for the federal government to put conditions on states that accept the new Medicaid dollars. But they said states that opt out altogether can't be punished by having all their existing Medicaid funding pulled, as the law originally allowed.

The Supreme Court's ruling seems to leave room for some states to opt out of the expansion. But Illinois' Democrat-controlled General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn have already signed off on a federal waiver application that could allow Cook County to start raking in new Medicaid dollars even before the 2014 start date, Raju said.

Despite the court's ruling, Raju said he's confident state politicians won't go back on their earlier decision.

"I sincerely hope the State of Illinois will make use of this Medicaid expansion for our poor people and the people without access," he said.

Cook County's request must still be approved by the federal agency that oversees Medicaid, Raju said. He's hoping approval could come as soon as July 1.

Thursday's court decision comes a day after Cook County budget officials projected a $267.5 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year. About $152 million of the shortfall came from the county hospital system, which has been burdened during the economic downturn by more and more patients who don't have insurance.

County hospitals are often the go-to choice for people who don't have health insurance: 85 percent of emergency room paitients and 55 precent of hospital patients are uninsured, according to the county.

In a statement, Cook County Board President Toni Precwinkle lauded the Supreme Court's decision.

"CCHHS is the foundation of the safety-net health network in northeastern Illinois," the statement reads. "Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will allow our system to proactively prepare for Affordable Care Act implementation in 2014.”



Recent Headlines

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 aren’t 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

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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