Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

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.

  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.

Another Take

Friday, November 02, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jerry Butler

I am writing in response to Phil Kadner's column on Oct. 19. Dr. Quentin
Young and William McNary are two gentlemen I have great respect and
admiration for; however, their view of the situation in the Cook County
Bureau of Health needs some rebuttal.

Young opines that the county has hired a collection agency to "terrorize
people living in poverty" who have been unable to pay their hospital bills.

The mission of the Stroger Hospital has not changed - we still serve people
regardless of their ability to pay.

However, we have hired collection agencies to assist us in keeping folks who
can pay from cheating the taxpayers of Cook County. As a matter of fact, we
recently have been made aware that a great number of patients from outside
of Cook County, e.g., from Will, DuPage and Lake counties, are adding to
Cook County's burden, as are undocumented immigrants.

Cook County's health care system serves about 1 million people annually, and
the reasons we are facing a financial crisis are multifaceted, not the least
of which are political pundits running for office on the back of the Bureau
of Health.

As to the assertion Cook County needs a board of trustees to oversee the
system, there once was such a group, and as Young knows, and it failed.

In the draft report of the review committee, these recommendations were
included: (An oversight committee should be formed, working) in partnership
with county leaders. These organizations are proposed as members by Citizens
Action, McNary's group: The Institute of Medicine, The Illinois Public
Health Association, The Metropolitan Healthcare Council, The Health and
Medicine Policy Research group, the Chicago Department of Health, Cook
County Physicians Association and The Federation of Labor. Notice there are
no ordinary citizens or nursing unions included.

Recommendation No. 5 states: "Revenue cycle improvement must be a high
priority. In the opinion of the review committee, this will most quickly and
efficiently be accomplished by outsourcing to a strong national company.
This action will require a significant investment and will likely take two
years to fully realize the benefit of the changes."

Delays in this investment only will delay full realization of this necessary
revenue source. The draft report goes on to say, "In the eyes of the review
committee the estimated revenue and expenses reduction opportunities are
insufficient to close the estimated financial gaps."

This committee was organized, as Kadner states in his column, in part
because Sen. Dick Durbin informed President Todd Stroger federal health care
funds would not be distributed to Cook County until it proved it had taken
steps to reform a system that had been a patronage haven. I must assume that
is Kadner's opinion, as opposed to what Durbin said because there are no
quotation marks used.

The federal government is part of Cook County's financial problem, having
cut back hundreds of millions of dollars in intergovernmental transfers
earmarked for Cook County. I wish our senator had given his attention to
that problem rather than the few patronage jobs he allegedly points to in
your article.

I notice with interest there were no quotes from or mention of Dr. Robert
Simon, who has been charged with running the system. I believe fair
reporting would have afforded him a chance to respond to Young's critique.

Finally, it is difficult to bring a logical conclusion to a political
argument that is steeped in half-truths and campaign rhetoric. I hope that
whatever the outcome, good governance, not politics, will prevail. It has
not happened in my years on this board, and I am skeptical that a board
constituted as prescribed by Citizen Action will do any better than the
current board. Politics is the problem, and apparently, it is not limited to

Jerry Butler is a member of the Cook County board of commissioners.

Recent Headlines

Cook County forest preserve picnic, camping permits for 2020 season to go on sale Nov. 15
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s public defender plans to ask Illinois Supreme Court to reverse decision that permits holding preteens in custody despite county ordinance
Monday, November 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Clerk Yarbrough touts ‘method to her madness,’ says hiring criticism ‘is purely personal’
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Nonprofit hospitals forced to defend hundreds of millions in property tax breaks
Friday, November 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Land Bank must serve neighborhoods, not City Hall insiders
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

After judge’s dismissal, Skokie appeals federal lawsuit over Evanston water rates
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 teens in DCFS care were shackled and handcuffed during drive from a youth shelter: ‘Totally unacceptable,’ agency says
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The lifelong damage we do in Cook County when we jail kids as young as 10
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Unfair assessments lawsuit dismissed after assessor makes changes — full reform called a ‘years-long process’
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Watch out, Cook County land bank. The public could foreclose — on you.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles raises property tax about $21 per average household
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Pioneer Press

Nov. 15 is Opening Day for Forest Preserves of Cook County Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Special to

$8M grant program aims to expand Cook County animal shelter space
Tuesday, November 05, 2019
ABC EyeWitness News

Even as Illinois court permits detaining pre-teens, across U.S. fewer youth being held
Monday, November 04, 2019
Injustice Watch

Cook County OK’d insider deal for Ald. Carrie Austin’s top aide
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A progressive measure intended to keep preteens out of Cook County jails was effectively struck down by an appellate court
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health CEO Calls on Other Hospitals to Increase Charity Care
Friday, November 01, 2019

Labrador retriever sworn in at Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Yes, really.
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sheriff wants chief judge to take over electronic monitoring of suspects, citing the records of those released
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois appellate court rejects ordinance banning detention of 10-12 year olds
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Injustice Watch

all news items

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