"The true cost of the Cook County hospital system is roughly $1.1 billion for 2009, documents recently released by interim hospitals CEO David Small show," Rob Olmstead reports in the Daily Herald.
That figure, for the first time, includes the cost of yearly pension expenses. [...] The $1.1 billion figure represents what the hospitals system is seeking from the Cook County Board and President Todd H. Stroger. When pension and other costs currently being carried on the county's books, rather than the hospitals books, are subtracted, the budget is roughly $1 billion.
The $1.1 billion budget is roughly $80 million larger than last year's budget and seeks 415 new jobs.