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VIEWPOINTS: IL needs federal funds to fill the Medicaid gap
Diverse constituency releases statement

This article shared 2346 times since Mon Feb 25, 2013
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We strongly encourage the General Assembly to accept new federal Medicaid funding that will be made available to Illinois in 2014 to fill a historic gap in the Medicaid program and provide health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of the lowest income uninsured Illinois residents. The measure will strengthen the financial health of our hospitals and other health care providers and boost our local economies as federal funds create jobs.

Medicaid has never covered all low-income individuals. It has always had a gap. Even if you are very poor, you do not qualify for Medicaid unless you are also elderly, disabled, pregnant, parenting or a minor child. Eliminating this gap in Medicaid opens the door for coverage to people with income under $16,000 who are ages 18-65, not officially disabled and not raising a minor child. For example, vital health coverage would be available to young adults just coming out of high school or college and starting their working lives; other young adults experiencing underemployment after a tour in the military (Illinois has 43,000 uninsured veterans); older adults whose children have passed age 18 who are not high earners; and people troubled with mental health and other issues that block their efforts at employment.

The State of Illinois, its localities, and all of the rest of us have been filling this Medicaid gap. We do it through charity care programs, safety net healthcare arrangements funded by property taxes, and state-funded human services programs that could be covered by Medicaid if the individual were eligible. The average U.S. family and their employers pay an extra $1,000 in health insurance premiums each year to compensate for health care for the uninsured. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that total uncompensated care in Illinois will decline by approximately $953 million from 2013 - 2022. Townships and General Assistance providers will be relieved from paying for coverage of those who are uninsured and are currently ineligible for Medicaid.

The brunt of the Medicaid gap also falls on those not covered — poor health, premature death, lowered employability and productivity, lost opportunity, medical bankruptcy and more. SB 26 will allow the State of Illinois to use federal funds to close the Medicaid coverage gap, address these health inequities, and begin to address the problem of rising health care costs due to uncompensated care for the uninsured.

The Federal government will provide 100 percent of the cost of filling the Medicaid gap for the first three years ($4.6 billion for the Illinois economy), and 90 percent of the cost after that ($21 billion over the first ten years). This means nearly 20,000 new jobs, which means paychecks being spent in stores and restaurants. The tax revenue resulting from this federal investment in our state's health care system will more than cover the state's small financial contribution.

In announcing that she would accept the federal money to fill the Medicaid gap in her state, Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer simply said, "I did the math". Seven Republican governors, all at one time vocal opponents of the measure, have now joined this pragmatic and sensible chorus. It is just too obviously in the best interests of their people and their states to reject.

Health care coverage keeps people healthier and reduces overall health system costs. That's why we, the undersigned organizations — a diverse constituency of consumers, providers, hospitals, local governments, businesses and insurance companies throughout the state — support SB 26 and urge the Illinois General Assembly to pass this bill.


AARP Illinois

Aetna, Inc.

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights

Illinois Hospital Association

Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition

Illinois Primary Health Care Association

Meridian Health Plan of Illinois

Sargent Shriver National Poverty Law Center

SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana

* Below is a comprehensive list of supporting organizations.

Support SB26: A New Medicaid Opportunity for Illinois

SB26 would allow for 342,000 low-income adults in Illinois to be newly eligible for and enrolled in Medicaid over the next four years. Coverage for those who enroll would start on Jan 1, 2014. Enrollment starts Oct 2013.

SB26 includes language that would cease coverage for this new population if the federal government's share of Medicaid matching funds drops below 90%. The federal government pays 100% of the costs of the newly eligible from 2014 through 2016.

Who are the newly eligible?

-Of the 1.7 million uninsured Illinois residents, approximately 342,000 people would be newly eligible for Medicaid.

-Over 60% of those newly eligible are employed, but work at low-wage or part-time jobs that do not offer affordable coverage.

Why is it important for Illinois pass this legislation?

-Through 2016, this legislation will bring an estimated $4.6 billion into Illinois in Medicaid provider payments for the newly eligible adults, with no net state costs for their health care.

-Access to low-cost preventive and maintenance medical care through a medical home will help to keep individuals out of costly emergency rooms.

-Coverage for this newly eligible population is required by federal law.

How much would this cost Illinois?

-"New Medicaid" would be paid for 100% by the federal government, from 2014 — 2016, replacing GRF and local government funds currently spent on this population and reducing the uncompensated care costs shifted to public and private payers.

-The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that total uncompensated care in Illinois would decline by approximately $953 million from 2013-2022.

-Illinois would receive federal funds to pay for mental health and other services that are currently only state-funded.

-Townships and general assistance units would be relieved from paying some of the bills of general assistance recipients who are uninsured.

Organizations supporting SB26 (last updated 2/19/2013)

Illinois Hospital Association

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Cook County

Cook County Health and Hospitals System

AARP Illinois

Access Living


AFC-Community Development Corporation

Age Options

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago

Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry

Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health

Alzheimer Association Illinois Chapter Network

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American Lung Association - Illinois

American Nurses Association Illinois

Areas of Aging (Northwestern, Western and Northeastern Illinois)

Asian American Institute, Member of AACAJ

Asian Health Coalition of Illinois

Asian Human Services

Asian Human Services Family Health Center

Association of Community Mental Health Authorities of Illinois

Association House of Chicago

BJC Healthcare

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois

Campaign for Better Healthcare

Center for Housing and Health

Center on Halsted

Champaign County Health Care Consumers

Chestnut Health Systems

Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness

Chicago House and Social Service Agency

Chicago Women's AIDS Project

Citizen Action Illinois

CJE SeniorLife

Community Behavioral Healthcare Association Illinois

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago

Community Elements

Connect 2 Protect

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin

Corporation for Supportive Housing

Crosspoint Human Services

Deborah's Place

Doctors Council SEIU

Dr. Art Jones

DuPage County Health Department

Ecker Center for Mental Health

Equip for Equality

Erie Family Health Center

Families and Children's Network (FCAN)

Family Services SRC

Family Voices of Illinois/The Arc of Illinois Family to Family

Fathers, Families, and Healthy Communities

Grand Prairie Services

Hamdard Center for Health & Human Services

Haymarket Center

Health Alliance Medical Plans

Health and Disability Advocates

Health and Medicine Policy Research Group

Health Information Center

Healthcare Alternative Systems

Healthcare Consortium of Illinois

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights

Heritage Behavioral Health Center

Housing Opportunities for Women

Howard Brown Health Center

Human Resources Development Institute, Inc

Illinicare Health Plan

Illinois Academy of Family Physicians

Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants

Illinois Action for Children

Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association

Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans

Illinois Assistive Technology Program

Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators

Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities

Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Illinois Citizens for Better Care

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Illinois Collaboration on Youth

Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition

Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living

Illinois Partners for Human Service

Illinois Primary Health Care Association

Illinois Psychological Association

Illinois Public Health Association

Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA)

Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing

Independence Center

Indian American Medical Association Charitable Foundation

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

La Rabida Children's Hospital

Lake County Health Department

Latino Policy Forum

League of Women Voters of Illinois

Leyden Family Service and Mental Health Center

Lurie Children's Hospital

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

Maine Center, Inc.

March of Dimes

Men & Women in Prison Ministries

Mental Health America of Illinois

Mental Health Summit

Meridian Health Plan of Illinois

METRO Counties of Illinois

Metropolitan Asian Family Services

Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force

Metropolitan Family Services

Molina Healthcare of Illinois NAMI Cook County North Suburban

NAMI DeKalb Kane South and Kendall Counties

NAMI of Greater Chicago

NAMI of Illinois

NAMI South Suburbs of Chicago

National Association of Social Workers IL Chapter

National Council of Jewish Women-Illinois Committee

National Kidney Foundation of Illinois

New Foundation Center

Next Steps- NFP

Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium

Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

Open Door Clinic

Organization of the NorthEast (ONE)

Ounce of Prevention Fund

Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative

Planned Parenthood of Illinois

Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew — Policy Action Council (POWER PAC)

Prairie Center

Presence Health

Progressive Action for the Common Good

Project IRENE

Protestants for the Common Good

Respiratory Health Association

Roosevelt University's Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy


Sacred Creations

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana

SEIU Illinois Council

SEIU Local 73

Sinai Health System

South Asian American Policy & Research Institute

Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP)

Statewide Independent Living Council

Supportive Housing Providers Association

TASC, Inc.

The Arc of Illinois

The South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse


Township Officials of Illinois


Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center

UCB Pharma

United Power for Action and Justice

United Way of Illinois

University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System

Vermilion County 708 Mental Health Board

Voices for Illinois Children


Wells Center

WellSpring Resource

This article shared 2346 times since Mon Feb 25, 2013
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