30.6.04

QUIS CUSTODIET CUSTODIES?
Top legislative leaders and the governor rallied Tuesday around a proposal to fire all nine members of the state agency that oversees hospital expansion and construction amid an investigation into projects it is weighing.

The proposal, introduced by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), was made as the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board undergoes scrutiny by state and federal officials looking into pending decisions on whether new hospitals can be built in the southwest and northwest suburbs.

Isn't that the basic behavior of regulatory commissions, to generate rents and dissipate them, and isn't that going to tempt the crooks?
Several influential lobbyists with close ties to powerful Democrats have been hired in recent months by Edward Hospital and other health-care firms with interests in expansion projects, even though state law prohibits lobbying of the health-care board. Some lobbyists said they worked only until applications were filed with the board. Rules governing the board prohibit communication with individuals on the board once a formal application is filed.

Is the public interest really served by a hospital cartel?

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