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Proviso Probe

Sunday, September 16, 2007

money, politics and the county health care system

Many taxpayers don't know what the county uses their money for.

Chicago Tribune (Andrew Schroedter):
Malcolm Holec knows that he pays a portion of his property taxes to fund Cook County government, but he said he wasn't sure what he was getting for his money....

"I don't see what comes back from that money," said Holec, 70, of Mt. Prospect. "I'm spending the money, but what am I getting?"

A large portion of the county's money--probably the largest portion--goes to providing medical services.

People are starting to question the wisdom of letting the Eighth Ward administer health care for poor people in Cook County.
Crain's (Mike Colias):
A committee backed by U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin is preparing to recommend that direct oversight of Cook County's embattled health system be taken out of the hands of President Todd Stroger and the board of commissioners, according to people with knowledge of the panel's work....

It would be the latest in a drumbeat of calls from outside groups urging greater expertise for the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, which is among the few public hospital systems in the nation controlled directly by politicians. But this proposal carries added weight because of Mr. Durbin, a fellow Democrat who's made clear that Mr. Stroger must take steps to fix the system before Illinois' congressional delegation works to secure more federal money (Crain's, May 14). Federal funding accounts for more than half of the system's patient revenue.

Do you think the county health care system will be reformed with health care professionals hired instead of political hacks? Or do you think county government will make some moves and some noise but protect the political class as much as possible?

On a related note, Chris Miller wrote that he saw similarities between the death of Orlando Jones (see Sun-Times (Chris Fusco, Steve Patterson, Tim Novak and Natasha Korecki)) and the movie, Casino. The Las Vegas public health system was being investigated for questionable consulting contracts to the politically connected. Jones was at least someone asked to provide documents in that investigation, if not a target.

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  • Orlando Jones was connected to Las Vegas through
    Lacey Thomas
    , the former Chief Operating Officer of Cook County Hospital who then became head of the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he was recently fired for misreporting the financial condition and is expected to be indicted for issuing phony contracts to companies based in Chicago.

    Orlando Jones may have been a good father and loyal godson -- but he also appears to have been a professional bag man (or would you rather call him a "political insider" ?)

    And why the connection between Chicago and Las Vegas ?

    By Blogger chris miller, at 7:29 PM, September 16, 2007  

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