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Quentin Young & Margie Schaps Quoted in Sunday New York Times Article on County Budget Woes

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
December 14, 2009

 

Chicago News Cooperative

Budget Woes Fray County’s Public Health System

By DON TERRY

Published: December 12, 2009

As a rule, Sam Garcia, 51, is so busy struggling to get by that he does not have much time to follow the maneuverings of Illinois’s elected officials. Nearly a year ago, Mr. Garcia lost his job at a suburban sheet metal plant, his health insurance and a piece of his pride all on the same day.

But Todd H. Stroger, the president of the Cook County Board, got Mr. Garcia’s attention last week when he warned about the consequences of the board’s vote to roll back the county’s part of the sales tax to 1.25 percent from 1.75 percent on July 1. Mr. Stroger said the board’s action created a $75 million hole in the county health care budget, necessitating deep service cuts, hundreds of layoffs and posing a risk that county hospital patients might “needlessly die.”

“It scared me,” Mr. Garcia said on a recent Saturday night while he waited in the emergency room at John H. Stroger Hospital. The hospital is named after Todd Stroger’s father, who was county board president for 12 years, from 1994 to 2006, until he had a stroke. “Where else am I going to go when I get sick?”  Read the full article