The [Friday] Papers
Illinois just cut $1.6 billion in Medicaid spending in part by tightening up eligibility and leaving thousands of needy citizens on the sidelines. Now, under Obamacare, Medicaid eligibility will be expanded, as explained in part by the Tribune this morning.
The good news, in a manner of speaking, is that the federal government will pick up the costs of the Medicaid expansion through 2016, when states will have to start contributing to the additional cost.
And that's when things may get ugly - though they'll get uglier much sooner for states that opt out of the expansion.
One result may be the eventual full takeover of Medicaid by the federal government, which is probably where Medicaid should reside anyway.
"Some health care providers added that Medicaid expansion alone won't remedy systemic problems with health care delivery," the Tribune reports.
"'We have fewer and fewer providers in Illinois who will accept Medicaid payment for provision of services,' said Dr. Claudia Fegan, past president of the Chicago-based Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates a single-payer system. 'It's like giving somebody a credit card with no credit on it . . . You're going to tell people, Now you're entitled to health care, but they can't go anyplace to get that care. People are already struggling to find a provider who will accept Medicaid.'"
"About 100,000 of [Cook] county's poorest residents could gain Medicaid coverage as soon as next month if federal officials approve a waiver sought by the county hospital system to begin enrolling uninsured patients earlier. Along with that request, the county is seeking $70 million a year in new federal reimbursements."
Folks buying health insurance under the new law who previously did not do so are not handing their money over to the federal government; they are handing their money over - under coercion of the federal government - to private companies. That is not a tax, and that isn't even being argued as such.
What is now construed as a tax for whatever convenience Roberts found necessary to achieve is the fine for those who do not purchase insurance - unless you want to argue that private insurance companies are now tax-collecting intermediaries.
Mopes of the Year
Such is the case of former alderman Ambrosio Medrano and former Cook County commissioner Joseph Moreno, who were both charged on Thursday with allegedly participating in bribery and kickback schemes involving bandages at Stroger Hospital and a waste transfer station in Cicero.
They saw their boring-ass opportunities and they took 'em.
"For Medrano, his arrest Thursday had to bring back bitter memories," the Tribune reports. "Almost exactly 16 years ago, the Chicago alderman was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for bribery in another federal courtroom as part of the undercover Operation Silver Shovel probe."
At least Moreno added his own twist on an old local saying, thereby earning a spot on an illustrious list of famous Chicago political utterances, just under Arenda Troutman's.
"I don't want to be a hog; I just want to be a pig," Moreno is alleged to have explained to the businessman, who was secretly cooperating with federal authorities and recording their conversations. "Hogs get slaughtered; pigs get fat."
The Sun-Times has a much longer, more detailed account that includes this Moreno riff.
In one exchange captured on tape, Moreno allegedly tells a cooperator about the benefit of putting vacant property back on the tax rolls.
(I filled in the "uck" that the Sun-Times left out, apparently on the grounds that sensitive readers who would be disturbed by such a word won't be able to fill in the paper's blanks and will therefore be spared, or perhaps because impressionable young children who might otherwise never know such a word will be scarred by having chosen to read a story about Joe Moreno and Ambrosio Medrano.)
The Sun-Times also notes in a separate story that "Over the years, Moreno has been seen as a loyal, so-called Machine Democrat close to Chicago Ald. Ed Burke (14th) and fellow Commissioner John Daley. As a commissioner, Moreno shared county office space with Daley."
The place was never the same after they hired Bill Blazejowski.
I'd suggest that ABC retaliate by blocking transmission of its broadcast to the Elliot residence, but that wouldn't exactly be a big loss.
Still, Graham Elliot is Today's Worst Person In Chicago.
The Week in Chicago Rock
This patronage employee was found to be the problem.
Steve McCroskey later ordered workers to pour every light they had on that runway.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Good luck, we're counting on you.
Posted on June 29, 2012
© 2006 - 2017, The Beachwood Media Company