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posted: 10/27/2012 3:23 PM

Cook County receives federal health care funding

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Daily Herald report

Cook County's health care system was granted a federal Medicaid waiver that will provide funding for patients who have been ineligible for coverage in the past.

County officials said the cost of the program that will enroll upward of 115,000 people comes from the federal government and relieves the county and its taxpayers from continued total funding coverage for those individuals.

Specifically, the waiver allows the Cook County Health & Hospitals System to "early enroll" certain uninsured patients who will become Medicaid eligible in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.

County officials did not say how much the new program will save the county, which is facing significant budget shortfalls in the coming year.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's proposed budget was relying on the waiver program to close the county's funding gap ahead of the coming fiscal year.

"I am so pleased to see this result after may months of hard work," Preckwinkle said. "Our health care system is vital to the community and we must continue to ensure everyone in Cook County has access to quality medical care."

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