Dr. Rezko Will See You Now

The President, who suggested Wednesday night that doctors routinely perform unnecessary, dangerous surgery on children for profit, thinks that government bureaucrats are more qualified to prescribe treatment for these children than are physicians. His superior faith in unelected, unqualified bureaucrats over medical professionals should be no surprise. He learned it while serving quietly as an appendage of the Chicago Democrat political establishment and protecting corrupt state entities like the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

I have committed this campaign to sharing with you the true nature of state government systems and unelected entities that are fixed against our interests. The Health Facilities Planning Board, which the Chicago Tribune recently referred to as a “Soviet-style exercise in central planning,” is yet another life-threatening example.

Before your community can build a new hospital, it must go before the politically-appointed Health Facilities Planning Board and prove to its members that the new hospital will not compete with any with existing hospitals. You heard right: the state actively restricts the number of healthcare providers in your community.

Do you think a new kidney-transplant facility would be a good thing for Illinois?

Oak Lawn’s Advocate Christ Medical Center is seeking state approval to start Illinois’ first new kidney-transplant program in more than decade. This plan has been approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the national transplant accreditation body. But that’s not enough in Illinois.

Advocate must now seek approval from friends of the Governor who sit on the Health Facilities Planning Board. Why must a provider of life-saving services kneel before bureaucrats in order to save lives?

Because building hospitals is big business for the political class. There is money to be made and influence to be sold. You might have first heard about the Health Facilities Planning Board during the Tony Rezko federal corruption trial. A former member of the board, Stuart Levine, was using his influence to get kickbacks on projects the board was reviewing, and splitting those kickbacks with Rezko.

But this is not simply a personnel problem. Corruption in Illinois state government is like water, it finds its own level. The corruption that has plagued the Health Facilities Planning Board flows from the very existence of an unelected body of political appointees with such decision-making power.

The Board itself is the problem.

But instead of abolishing this counter-productive and, frankly, dangerous entity, the state has decided to expand it, from 5 to 9 members. Only under the reign of the Chicago 9 is expanding membership on a corrupt body whose very existence impedes the sensible development of our state’s health infrastructure seen as reform.

If President Obama feels ill, he is welcome to visit Dr. Rezko or Dr. Levine for his diagnosis. But in Illinois, under a Proft Administration, you’ll be able to see a doctor at a hospital in your neighborhood. I will abolish the Health Facilities Planning Board and expand, rather than restrict, medical access in Illinois by freeing hospitals and health care professionals—the people who actually know what they are doing in the health care sector—to make the sensible decisions about the needed developments to our health care infrastructure.

Bringing system change reforms to Springfield may require a collective spine transplant for the General Assembly, but at least such a procedure would not require Health Facilities Planning Board approval in a Proft Administration.

For those in both parties content to tinker on the margins while the quality of health care in Illinois suffers, Dr. Junkyard Dog is ready to see you now.



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