Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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 Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



A $394 million tax for Illinois

Monday, May 18, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

There's more than a touch of absurdity in the way an industry fee in President Barack Obama's health care law is being passed along to state taxpayers. As Alice in Wonderland might say, a curious tax just got curiouser. The burden to states could mount to $13 billion in less than a decade. The Health Insurance Providers Fee was aimed at insurance companies. The thinking went: Because insurers would gain a windfall of customers, they ought to help pay for the expansion of coverage. Insurers say they have raised prices for individuals and small businesses to cover the new tax. As it turns out, they are raising their prices to state Medicaid programs, too. The federal government issued guidance in October requiring states to build the tax into what they pay for-profit Medicaid health plans that serve low-income people. The first year's tax was due to the IRS in September, and state governments are now settling up with insurance companies. Illinois will pay $394 million to cover the tax through 2023, estimates a 2014 report by actuarial firm Milliman. The state is starting to make higher payments to cover the tax, even as Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed making $1.5 billion in cuts to Medicaid providers such as hospitals for the upcoming budget year. Related: • The insurance plan that got Cook County Health off life support It works like this: State governments pay insurers for the tax. The insurers then pay the tax to the federal government. The federal government then reimburses part of the cost to the states. It may sound absurd, but it's not amusing to state governments, which wind up losing 54 cents for every dollar of the insurance tax. State taxpayers end up the biggest losers, without any added benefit to their state's low-income Medicaid patients. "It's like a merry-go-round with an extra loop in the middle," said Rebecca Owen of the Society of Actuaries. The extra loop? The health law tax is not deductible for the insurance companies when they file their corporate income taxes, and state governments must kick in extra to cover that cost, too. "If they're following the standard of practice, there's no wiggle room" for states to shift the burden back onto the companies, Owen said. It's particularly troubling because more states are turning to private sector Medicaid managed care to keep health care costs down. An estimated 70 percent of Medicaid patients are covered by these types of plans. '

DEFIED ANY NOTION OF GOOD TAX POLICY' The fee on health insurance companies was one of several new taxes Congress used to pay for the health care law. "They had a naive notion we were going to get something from insurers" who were gaining many new customers from the health law, said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a center-right public policy institute. "It defied any notion of good tax policy." Most nonprofit insurers are exempt, but there's no exemption for profit-making Medicaid managed care companies that collect payments from state governments with the promise of providing better care at lower costs. The states with the most managed care will be hurt the most. Florida will pay up to $1.2 billion over 10 years, according to the Milliman report. The same for Pennsylvania. Texas will pay up to $1 billion and Tennessee as much as $884 million. For California, the decade's total will be up to $798 million and for Georgia, $647 million. While the quirk in the law has been known to insurers and actuaries, the impact is just starting for states. A standard-setting board for actuaries just published a memo that clears up any remaining doubt that state governments must pay higher rates to cover the tax. The health insurance industry wants the tax repealed, arguing that it increases prices to consumers. But largely unrecognized is the surprising effect of the tax on Medicaid and state governments. "At the end of the day it remains a terrible policy no matter how it's implemented, and everyone would welcome its repeal. I mean, you're essentially having one level of government tax another to do this," said Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.



Recent Headlines

Cook County board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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