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Charity Care Hospitals Told to Put Up or Pay Up in Wake of New Report
Date:11/8/2007

Suffredin & Maldonado Renew Push for More Charity Care After County Assessor Reports $241 Million in Property Tax Breaks for Non-Profit Hospitals

CHICAGO, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Joined by union leaders, Cook County Commissioners Larry Suffredin and Roberto Maldonado on Thursday said the State and County should require local non-profit hospitals to either pay property taxes or justify their tax exemptions by providing more charity care to bolster the ailing public health system.

Suffredin and Maldonado's comments came after Cook County Assessor James Houlihan issued an analysis Tuesday finding that the county's private non-profit hospitals collectively benefit from $241 million in annual property tax exemptions, despite escalating criticism that they have failed to support a regional healthcare system and public hospitals with adequate levels of treatment for the poor and uninsured.

"At a time when the County can't afford to adequately fund its health care system, we shouldn't waive tax payments from private hospitals that are not providing enough care for the poor and uninsured," said Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (13th District). "This report demonstrates why the County should require these hospitals to provide adequate charity care to justify their tax exemption. I look forward to working with the state legislature, the Attorney General of Illinois, and other Commissioners to clarify the law on charity care and to coordinate health care services provided by these hospitals on a Countywide basis."

Cook County Commissioner Roberto Maldonado, Chief Sponsor of the Resolution calling for the report, stressed that it underscores the fact that the uninsured and underinsured are the biggest losers in this public-private partnership. "If these hospitals are advertising themselves as 'non-profits with a charitable mission' then they need to provide their fair share of health care to the poor. How can Cook County taxpa
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SOURCE Service Employees International Union Local 20
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