Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Uninsured Uptowners Brace For Healthcare Budget Cuts

By Dimitrios Kalantzis
Oct. 22, 2008 - Uninsured and low-income residents of the Uptown neighborhood relying on free healthcare clinics are about to take another blow, as the Department of Public Health faces $8 million in lost revenue, according to the 2009 department budget released last Wednesday.

The Uptown Neighborhood Health Center
, one of the city's largest free or reduced-fee health clinics, is located at 845 W. Wilson Ave. The clinic's future is bleaker when considering the 2009 city budget, proposed to the city council by Mayor Richard M. Daley on the same day as the department budget release.

"It's pretty grim," said Michael Crulcich, director of clinical operations for Chicago's Neighborhood Health Centers. "We're down to a lot bearer bones than we're used to."

The Uptown clinic is one of seven city-funded health centers, all located in some of Chicago's poorest communities like Englewood and South Lawndale, facing major budget cuts.

According to Daley's proposed budget, likely to gain approval by the city council, the seven centers stand to shrink by over 35 percent, losing 60 of 167 current positions, including nurses and medical assistants. Continue Reading


  1. This is sad. Maybe now all those people looking for Government run health care can take a look at this and understand why it doesn't work in America.

    I have worked with these clinics for the last 4 years, and have seen the deterioration. The Government has failed these people, not because they are obligated to take care of them, but because they made a commitment to. I visit over 500 medical clinics every three months and can say for a fact the city run ones are by far the worst.

  2. I'm not sure what you're saying here chip...these clinics aren't government run healthcare. They're filling a void left by the current (not government run)health care system. If private, for-profit health care is so good why are these clinics necessary? I'm all for better managed providers/clinics but I'm not very confident it can happen with our current system where most of the money goes to advertising/marketing/promotions.

  3. Not to get into a political discussion bradley, but if advertising,marketing and promotions are the real cause of all our cost problems, why not just prohibit them and the healthcare crisis would just fix itself?

  4. Well when local government (Helen) fight to keep people right where they are economically, these sorts of services are going to feel the strain.

  5. I don't claim to have all the answers; I didn't claim ALL the cost problems can be traced to advertising/marketing/promotions.

    The situation as I see it: drug companies are spending more on advetising/promotions than research/development; through my office I have a choice of several health plans which means there are tons of middle men/women getting paid to do essentially the same thing and lots of money spent on advertising/PR. If I were on my own, and could afford to purchase insurance at the individual rate, the carrier could deny coverage for anything at a whim. So for all those people who can't afford several hundred dollars per month for partial coverage, free clinics/emergency rooms are the only option.

  6. No one said they were necessary Bradley. The government has created a system of need, but I woudn't call them nessessary.

    I don't make a lot of money, yet I find a way to pay over $200 a month for heath insurance. In the private sector, imagine that.

  7. I'm probably older than you chip and colon/liver cancer runs in my family, but if not for my group plan, insurance would be somewhere around $1K per month for me with no guarantee of coverage if I did get cancer.

  8. By the bye... who are "they"? Government doesn't create the need. Generally speaking health issues can't be traced to the government.(Though our alderman has given me a headache)

  9. "would be"

    Always with the would be's. Feel free to sit around waiting for the Government to come up with a system that works, you may be sitting for a long time. Or, find a job that offers benifits, or a partner who's company offers them, or medicare, or buck up and pay out of pocket.

    As far as the colon or liver cancer i recomend laying of any booze and eating a healthy diet. We all have genetic conditions, it's our job to live right to try and avoid them.

    And to end this conversation..I am not against government run healthcare, I am against OUR GOVERNMENT running health care. They have there hands full messing up Education, transportation, mail, wars, stock markets, and public housing.

  10. Ummm, Bradley? Those clinics ARE government run healthcare...

  11. You're right, this is government run health care just like a a band-aid and aspirin is health care.

  12. chipdoublas said...

    And to end this conversation..I am not against government run healthcare, I am against OUR GOVERNMENT running health care. They have there (sic) hands full messing up Education, transportation, mail, wars, stock markets, and public housing.

    The problem with OUR GOVERNMENT, chip, is that "The Shareholder" and "The Consumer" are now far more important than "The Citizen."

    And from what I've observed over the past 30 years, most Americans actually started believing that shit, thanks to the Almighty Corporation, whose "personhood" is far superior to an actual "person" with a beating heart.

    Singing "privatize, privative, don't socialize" while credit card debt soared through the roof, and home equity used like an ATM. Living the high life on stagnating middle-class wages while killing the unions, celebrating cheaper goods made by starving workers in some nameless third-world country. Healthcare as a "privilege" not "a right."

    So pardon me if I find all this outrage toward Shiller and her "dregs of society" a bit comical. Because most Americans are as dumb-blind high on Rabid Consumerism as that crack ho' down Broadway.

  13. Ok. I think we are getting off topic here. We're not going to change Chip's fundamental views on government (he is a libertarian) and we are not going to fix the financial market meltdown on this blog.

    Uninsured Uptowners
    Healthcare Budget Cuts
    City Deficit
    Helen Shiller

    Most of us know that Shiller and her mentor, Walter "Slim" Coleman, worked hard to open the Uptown People's Health Center, a precursor to this one. Therefore, the issue of access to healthcare should be acknowledged as one of her "issues" (as she likes to say). Likewise, scrutinizing the City budget for how it fails to serve the poor is also one of her "issues." That is why, for years, she voted against Mayor Daley's budgets and spoke at length against them.

    What I have to say today is this. Helen Shiller: Will you be voting for the Mayor's budget as you have been for years now? Who can count on you? The Mayor with his childish need to see his budgets passed unanimously without discussion and dissent? Or, can the poor count on you? With a $400 million + deficit, at what point are you going to be willing to say that sweetheart deals, cronyism and "the Chicago Way" is not serving the best interests of our poorest citizens afterall?

  14. "The problem with OUR GOVERNMENT, chip, is that "The Shareholder" and "The Consumer" are now far more important than "The Citizen."

    Wow imagine that Kenny from Helen's office! Without Capitalism we wouldn't have millionaire Barack Obama on the verge of presidency, we wouldn't have billionaire Oprah endorsing him, and we wouldn't have soon to be millionaire (When she retires, thanks WY) Helen Shiller running Uptown.

    The topic was about healthcare. This situation just nails down the point that the US spends more than any other country on healthcare, yet finds a way to screw it up. Our local officials can't listen to the public's opinion on the hole at Broadway and Montrose why would they listen to me when I tell them I am sick?

    Your better than that Kenny from Helen's office.