CHICAGO, IL – The Health Care Council of Illinois, which represents the nursing home industry, is insisting on a property tax break that Governor J.B. Pritzker has already vetoed in an effort to save Cook County nursing homes and lead to better services. The question remains: why should Cook County taxpayers take on the burden to avert pending closures and raise subpar care?
The Health Care Council is now trying to override Pritzker’s veto which would put an even heavier burden on taxpayers as higher property tax bills are on its way for most Cook County, Illinois, homeowners. The amendment was added to a larger bill which deals with other tax issues.
It’s now up to Illinois lawmakers to stand up for taxpayers and keep Pritzker’s veto as is.
Nursing homes are notoriously known for high turnover rates and low staffing levels. According to the Chicago Tribune, in September 2022, residents filed a lawsuit against Alden nursing homes claiming their “intentional lack of staffing has led to numerous injuries and illnesses.”
The lawsuit alleged that “residents have fallen down stairs while strapped to a wheelchair, fractured their neck when dropped by one person using a mechanical lift that requires two people, and ingested poisonous chemicals due to lack of care and supervision.”
Furthermore, between 2013 and 2017, more than 80% of all inspected nursing homes in the nation had an infection prevention and control deficiency, such as a lack of regular hand-washing.
The question remains: why should Cook County taxpayers bear the burden of providing a better quality of living for vulnerable nursing home residents when costs are already high?