To the Editor:
We all agree that Illinois has serious financial challenges – overwhelming, in fact. While we try to diagnose the problems, the immediate issue for the next 30 days is what we are willing to do to save Illinois from financial catastrophe and collapse.
Therefore, on behalf of the entire Illinois hospital community, we pledge full and complete support for maintaining our current tax rates to keep Illinois from falling into the financial abyss.
This issue is not just about hospitals. It is about roads, schools, public safety and yes, health care. Without the continuation of current tax revenues, all of these areas will be subject to severe and destructive cuts in state funding.
All of us have witnessed firsthand the need for improvements in Illinois roads, health care, public safety and education. We collectively have much work to do to improve the lives of our families, friends and neighbors. And much of that work calls for continued stable and predictable state funding.
The decision to support a continuation of current tax rates is not easy. But taking the easy way out today will only make tomorrow’s problems worse. We need to collectively find the courage to do the right thing now for the people of Illinois. We need to keep our promises to Illinoisans to keep our state safe, well-educated and healthy.
There is no silver bullet to solve the magnitude of these issues. It takes tough decisions and sacrifice for the greater good of the state. That is why the Illinois hospital community supports taking this difficult action.
We urge our legislators and the General Assembly to enact a fiscal year 2015 state budget that maintains the current tax rates. This will take political courage and statesmanship. But now is the time for both – and for legislators to make tough decisions for these tough times. Our future depends on it.
Maryjane A. Wurth
President and CEO, Illinois Hospital Association and
Chairman, IHA Board of Trustees and
president and CEO, KishHealth System