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In Sun-Times Editorial Veteran Physicians Warn of Dire Consequences to Public's Health if County Subsidy is Slashed

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
October 18, 2011

download the article from The Chicago Sun Times

Editorial: Docs say more cuts bad for county health care

Last Modified: Oct 17, 2011 10:03PM

Governments at all levels are slashing budgets, eliciting cries of pain and sky-is-falling warnings that the neediest among us will suffer — some exaggerated, some justified.

Against that backdrop, we listened carefully when four veteran doctors from Cook County’s public health system came to see us recently warning of dire consequences if the health system’s subsidy from the Cook Country Board were substantially reduced.

“To us, cutting the budget when we can’t even meet the need now is ludicrous. . . . We work at maximum capacity all the time,” explained Dr. Shari Schabowski, an emergency room doctor at Stroger Hospital. “Our system is saturated with super-sick people, so regular medical care doesn’t happen.”

This comes from doctors on the front line, top professionals who could work elsewhere but have chosen to work with, and now advocate for, patients who have nowhere else to turn.

They make a compelling case — but so does Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who is finalizing a 2012 budget that is roughly $315 million in the red. As she should, Preckwinkle is pushing every county-funded agency to do more with less. Read the full article