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.
   
     
     
     



New direct access health care program begins enrolling Cook County residents

Monday, April 17, 2017
Daily Northwestern
by Zoe Miller

Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Cook+County+commissioner+Bridget+Gainer+speaks+at+a+meeting+in+2012.+Gainer+supported+a+new+direct+health+care+program+geared+toward+uninsured+residents.

Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Cook County commissioner Bridget Gainer speaks at a meeting in 2012. Gainer supported a new direct health care program geared toward uninsured residents.

Zoe Miller, Reporter
April 17, 2017

The direct access health care program, which was unanimously approved as an ordinance by Cook County commissioners in September, began in March. A direct access program is a type of health care program that establishes a network of centers that enrollees can use without paying initial fees.

The program was first proposed to the county by Healthy Communities Cook County, a group of healthcare organizations that advocates for improved healthcare access for uninsured residents. Cook County commissioners Bridget Gainer, Jesus Garcia and Robert Steele supported the program.

The program was established to help uninsured, low-income residents of Cook County obtain more affordable care, said Micaela Vargas, Gainer’s chief of staff. Often, she said, uninsured, low-income residents live in the U.S. without documentation and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act — an Obama-era bill that aimed to expand American healthcare.

Paradoxically, when uninsured people avoid health care because of cost, they end up being forced to pay more in the form of hospital visits, which are more expensive than other types of care, Vargas said.

Even if patients have no insurance, the Cook County health and hospital system is required to take in all patients in its emergency rooms, Vargas said. She added that emergency room services are often the most expensive care options.

“A lot of times, if you don’t have insurance, you’ll kind of wait and wait until your health deteriorates enough that you just have to go into the emergency room,” Vargas said.

Cook County Health and Hospitals System hospitals and clinics all offer free care under the program. The program also assigns a primary care provider and a list of available medical resources.

In addition, the program coordinates medical care so people can take advantage of care that’s already available to them. It also tracks a patient’s medical history and assigns staff to follow up with them afterward.

“People don’t know how to get the care that they need,” said Phoebe Flaherty, a member of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, an organization that helped petition the County to institute the program.

Organizing clients’ medical care, Flaherty said, could help them obtain care they would not otherwise receive and minimize costs.

“They’re being told that they’re not eligible for financial assistance when they in fact are,” Flaherty said. “People have access to resources, theoretically, but are not physically able to actually access those resources.”

In the future, Vargas said officials hope to further expand the program. She said the current iteration of the program is the first of several phases that have been planned.

Email: zoemiller@u.northwestern.edu



Recent Headlines

How Trump's Obamacare subsidy cuts could affect your county
Monday, October 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Toni Preckwinkle on Soda Tax Repeal, County Budget Shortfall
Monday, October 16, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County soda tax repeal garners mixed reactions from Evanston restaurants
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Daily Northwestern

The soda tax was repealed, but Cook County still has to find a way to fund the government
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Chicago Reader

Fired sheriff’s officer wins lawsuit; could undo dozens of firings
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

How to Win Against Big Soda
Sunday, October 15, 2017
New York Times

Inspector general's report alleges nepotism, political influence in south suburban sanitary district
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Chicago Tribune

7-Eleven settles lawsuit with customer over soda tax charge
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County officials faced with $200M budget gap after pop tax repeal
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County officials faced with $200M budget gap after pop tax repeal
Friday, October 13, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

The Week in Review: Soda Tax Fizzles Out
Friday, October 13, 2017
WTTW The Week in Review

Justice Department latest sanctuary city move on Chicago, Cook County
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Finding hope, promise in the wreckage of the Cook County soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pop tax one step away from repeal after 15-1 test vote
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board repeals soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Why I voted to keep Cook County's soda tax
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Morning Spin: Vote to repeal pop tax expected today
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County officials vote 15-1 to repeal sugary drink tax
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
ABC 7 Chicago

County Board moves to kill pop tax
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

STEINBERG: After Cook County scraps its soda tax, try a tax on deceit
Monday, October 09, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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