Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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 Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Brown: Without ACA, Cook needs Rx to avoid pre-existing condition

Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times
by Mark Brown

I doubt many realize it, but some of the biggest beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, are local taxpayers in Cook County.

In 2009 before implementation of Obamacare, county taxpayers subsidized Stroger and Provident Hospitals and their allied clinic system to the tune of $481 million a year.

This year that subsidy is down to $111.5 million, a reduction of more than 75 percent.

Most of that difference is directly attributable to the Affordable Care Act, which provided medical coverage to previously uninsured poor people through Medicaid, in the process shifting the cost of their care to the federal government.

OPINION

Now that Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have cleared the first hurdle in repealing and replacing Obamacare, it’s those same Cook County taxpayers who will be at risk of having to make up the difference if the federal coverage goes away.

On Monday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle stood with Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional delegation to slam the House vote as a “shameless act of political cowardice” for endangering health care for millions of Americans.

Indeed, the most important reasons for preserving the Affordable Care Act, or at least fixing it sensibly, relate to the harm to individuals that will come from removing health care coverage for those who otherwise would have none.

But the dollar impact on local taxpayers here shouldn’t be overlooked.

Some of you surely remember the time not that long ago when the county hospitals were a constant source of handwringing as elected officials wrestled with huge deficits and how to close them.

There have been other improvements to the county health system in the intervening years — a move to managed care, improved billing and other operational efficiencies — but the big financial difference is the decrease in the number of uninsured.

Before the Affordable Care Act, fewer than half the people served by county hospitals were insured, said Dr. John Jay Shannon, chief executive officer of Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

Today nearly 70 percent of the county’s patients have insurance, he said. Most of them get their coverage through Medicaid.

“Make no mistake, the Affordable Care Act has been a godsend both to the patients we serve and to our health care system,” Shannon told a luncheon audience at the City Club of Chicago.

Shannon estimates the Republican plan would cost Cook County at least $300 million in annual revenue and additional costs.

That could grow as high as $800 million depending on how many more patients seek charity care from the county if other local hospitals fail to fill the void, he said.

Shannon is projecting that 54,000 adults would be at risk of losing the coverage they now have through the county’s managed care health plan, known as CountyCare, under the GOP bill. That’s out of a total of 140,000 enrollees.

The county’s cost estimates must be taken with a grain of salt at this point because local officials admit they don’t have a strong understanding yet of how the House plan would work, and more important, the Senate is probably going to greatly revise the legislation.

But it’s obvious that any plan that drastically reduces the number of uninsured is going to have its greatest impact in urban areas where there is a larger concentration of poor people, such as Chicago.

Asked how she would plug the $300 million hole if it came to pass, Preckwinkle answered plainly: “I don’t know.”

But she seemed to rule out a property tax increase.

“There are no votes on the Cook County Board of Commissioners to raise property taxes,” she said.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele dies
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

10 reasons Cook County must rethink the sweetened beverage tax
Friday, June 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Jail inmates charged in sex assault of female detainee in court lockup
Friday, June 16, 2017
WLS ABC Channel 7 Chicago

Why it's foolish not to appeal your property tax assessment
Friday, June 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

OPINION: Kennedy making a convincing case for ‘radical’ property-tax ideas
Friday, June 16, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Elgin wants state, feds to raise minimum wage to 'a living wage'
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

How property tax assessments in Cook County favor the rich
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County to stop prosecuting some traffic offenses because it lacks resources, Foxx's office says
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

2016 Cook County property tax rates: Look up your town, estimate your bill
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Sand Ridge Nature Center to host annual Juneteenth Celebration
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Road projects mark Winnetka, Wilmette landscapes this summer
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Competence at the assessor's office: Too much to ask?
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Joseph Berrios: Cook County Assessments ‘Fair and Accurate’
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
WWT Chicago Tonight

County assessor responds to claims of unfair property values assessment
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
WLS Chicago

The High Costs for Out of School and Jobless Youth in Chicago and Cook County
Monday, June 12, 2017
The Great Cities Institute of UIC

Bombshell report from Alvarez office explodes case against 'innocence industry'
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Bail reform in Cook County gains momentum
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Kim Foxx: Low-risk defendants should go free before trial
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview Trustees Vote To Opt Out of Minimum Wage Increase
Monday, June 12, 2017
Glenview Patch

Cook County Jail exits federal oversight of more than 40 years
Monday, June 12, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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