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.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



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

Western Springs Board votes to follow county ordinance, raising minimum wage to $11 this year
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Pioneer Press

Mother files complaint, says while she was at Daley Center for jury duty, staff sent her to men’s room to pump breast milk
Monday, April 23, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Challenge to filing fee has some worth
Monday, April 16, 2018
Chicago Daily law Bulletin

Tougher SNAP rules worry providers
Friday, April 13, 2018
Modern Healthcare

Cook County tax officials take excess campaign donations from appeals firms, ethics panel says
Friday, April 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County’s 'Next Century' Plan To Maintain Forest Preserves
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
WBEZ

What happens when a hospital sells its debt?
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
WWNO New Orleans Public Radio

Federal funds to bolster election security may fall short in Chicago, Cook
Monday, April 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New autopsy rulings bring Cook County cold death total to 31 this season
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest Preserves of Cook County Summer Day Camp Registration Opens April 2
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County sues Facebook, Cambridge Analytica after alleged misuse of millions of Illinoisans' data
Monday, March 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Unsung Heroine Award to Emily Guthrie
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Evanston Roundtable

Editorial: In four letters, why people leave Cook County: J-O-B-S
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

In a twist, Cook County wins $9 million verdict tied to jail strip-search settlement
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Chicago Tribune

15 got promotions from Court Clerk Dorothy Brown within 6 months of donations
Friday, March 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Assessor Berrios loses court fight to overturn Cook County's limits on campaign donations
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

$70 million and counting? Cook County taxpayers face massive tab for sheriff board firings
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Commentary: Dart's misguided approach to jail reform
Monday, March 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Commissioners: Shelve this Cook County job killer
Monday, March 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County alerting investors, delinquent property taxpayers of coming tax sale
Friday, March 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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