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Health & Medicine Testifies to County Board on Privatization of Toxicology, Sweetened Beverage Tax

Health & Medicine recently testified to the Cook County Board on the privatization of toxicology services in the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as well as at the October 31st Board Budget Hearing on the city’s proposed sweetened beverage tax.

Executive Director Margie Schaps shared the organization’s objections to the City’s plan to eliminate 18 of the 22 positions in the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

“The risks of privatization of public services have been repeatedly demonstrated: in jails, in schools, in tollways, and many other arenas.  Arguments in favor of privatization must therefore pass a high bar.  Two main claims have been made to support outsourcing of the toxicology to a private vendor outside of Chicago: Cost savings, and reduced time to get results.  We do not believe that these arguments are either valid or sufficient to justify outsourcing,” Schaps said. Click here to read the full testimony.

At a later budget hearing, Health & Medicine also expressed its reluctant support for the sweetened beverage tax in the event that other less regressive taxes or fees cannot be identified. Read the full testimony here.