* Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has said he wants to stem the flow of out-of-county patients to Stroger Hospital. As of last year, they were still streaming in…
In 2008, 26,000 patients came from the Collar Counties; 25,000 were from downstate counties; 1,800 came from Indiana; and 5,200 were from other areas.
The cost to the county is about $50 million a year. One story…
Aurora housewife Bushra Ayaz has colon cancer. She’s now being treated at Stroger Hospital, because, when she sought treatment at hospitals in DuPage and Kane counties, they declined because she has no health insurance.
“The doctors over there, they were saying, ‘Oh, you cannot afford the chemo. … It’s very expensive, and we will not give you here,’ Ayaz said.
Her sister, Nuzhat Fahim, explains the runaround they received at other hospitals.
“I just felt like a rolling stone,” she said. “When we were in a hospital, they sent (us) to another one. And they sent (us) to another one. They said, ‘No, you go to Cook County Hospital.’”
* The Sun-Times takes a look at Gov. Pat Quinn’s pledge to “fumigate” Illinois government of top Blagojevich hires. The paper’s first problem was getting Quinn’s office to comment…
[Quinn’s] spokesman would not directly answer questions about how many Blagojevich administration workers have been let go as a result of Quinn’s fumigation pledge.
And the numbers appear disheartening…
Today, despite a failed effort by House Speaker Michael Madigan to force Quinn “to accelerate the pace” of the housecleaning, dozens of high-ranking, top-paid hires from the Blagojevich era are managing to hold onto their state jobs.
At least 70 have done so despite coming under scrutiny in a federal investigation of what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald termed in 2006 were “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” under Blagojevich, who is awaiting trial on federal charges that he used his job as governor to improperly benefit himself and those close to him.
* Paratransit riders are facing an RTA fare increase, and they want Gov. Quinn to step in…
A dozen paratransit protesters pressured Gov. Quinn Friday to give them the same fare freeze he gave other CTA riders this month.
“Since Gov. Quinn was able to freeze fares for people who ride fixed routes, that same courtesy should have been afforded to the riders for paratransit,” said Debbie Pittman of Chicago, spokeswoman for the Concerned Citizens of Paratransit. “We understand there might be a budget that needs to be met,” she added, “but it shouldn’t be on the backs of the riders.” […]
[Pittman] said they got “a big runaround” with the governor’s representatives when they finally met with them at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago Friday in a meeting barred to the media. “So, we are going to keep fighting,”
* Chuck Goudie takes a look at the top users of the state’s turboprop fleet since Rod Blagojevich left office…
Attorney General, 326
Senate Operations, 257
House Operations, 251
Public aid, 188
Public health, 177
Secretary of State, 147
Human services, 122
* And in other budget news, the Pantagraph once again publishes an editorial demanding that the Legislature “do something” about the budget without ever saying what it would like to see done…
We asked state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, and state Sens. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, and Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, what they personally are doing to resolve the state’s budget problems.
Rep. Brady, who is running for re-election, said he has been meeting with various groups and individuals, such as current and retired ISU employees, and conveying information to the governor’s staff.
Sen. Brady, who is among seven Republican candidates for governor, said there needs to be a 10 percent cut in spending. He said one of the problems in formulating a solution is the difficulty getting information from state agencies.
Sen. Rutherford, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for treasurer, said he is repeating his call for reforming the state’s pension system and Medicaid system before considering an income tax hike. He also said he speaks about state issues every other day with Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno.
It’s good to hear our lawmakers are “involved,” but the General Assembly never should have gone home in September (not to mention July) without directly addressing the state’s budget problems.
That’s “involved”? Hookay.
* Inside one questionable clout hire
* Election Remains Big Obstacle to Budget Fix
* Quinn creates Human Services Commission
* Quinn signs bill to get more federal money for health care
* New law nets more federal money
* Controversy leads to reforms at Statehouse
* Campaign finance tops reform scorecard
* Campaign Finance Wait Continues
* Quinn Promises Action On Campaign Finance Bill