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:  
   
 
 

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.
   
     
     
     



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

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

What Pritzker's minimum wage increase plan could mean for the suburbs
Monday, November 26, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County sheriff’s vehicle struck during ISP pursuit on I-294
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County 'Tails' program offers redemption for inmates, dogs
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County correctional officer owns bar where security guard Jemel Roberson shot by cop, officials say
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

More than 2 months after sisters were killed in crash with Cook County sheriff's officer, family still waits for answers
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Jail guard’s retaliation suit can proceed
Monday, November 19, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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