As the Springfield budget stalemate continues and Illinois gets closer to a government shutdown, officials from hospitals located in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood are urging against deep spending reductions to medical facilities.
Under his fiscal year 2016 budget proposal, Gov. Bruce Rauner has suggested cutting Medicaid by $1.5 billion, with $735 million of that amount coming by way of slashing payments to hospitals.
Representatives from the North Side's Chicago Lakeshore Hospital and Weiss Hospital called for the preservation of funding for medical facilities at a Thursday press conference.
Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, located at 4840 N. Marine Dr., "happen[s] to be, along with Weiss, two of the largest employers in Uptown," said Chicago Lakeshore Hospital's CEO Patrick Moallemian, reported DNAinfo Chicago.
"I cannot emphasize it enough. We are not just speaking from a sheer state of panic, but rather from a deep respect for the communities from which we serve very needy individuals. Our very deserving communities will go without," he added.
Weiss Hospital, located at 4646 N. Marine Dr., "is not just a hospital. It's a pillar in the community," added Weiss Hospital official David Miller.
"When we skip payments for those necessary primary services, folks will end up in the emergency ward. The best measure is preventative measures," he added.