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Health Care

  • Budget crisis creates challenges for Chicago healthcare provider

    aquino 062917SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Omar Aquino, a Chicago Democrat, emphasized the importance of a balanced, full-year budget in bringing stability and certainty to community healthcare providers in his district and across Illinois. Aquino pointed to the toll that the budget crisis has already taken on Erie Family Health Center, a Chicago safety net healthcare provider that has been forced to work through a wide variety of issues over the last two years.

    “I am glad to hear that there is some bipartisan cooperation in state government as we work toward passing a budget,” Aquino said, referring to ongoing negotiations in the Illinois General Assembly.

  • Holmes' Network Adequacy and Transparency Act signed into law

    holmes 021617SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, that would protect health insurance plan participants from drastic and disruptive changes to coverage networks was signed into law today.

    “With what is happening with health care at the federal level, we in state government must give people some peace of mind,” Holmes said. “This legislation keeps people updated about their insurance networks and provides some stability for consumers during such a turbulent time for health care.”

    The legislation will fix narrow health care provider networks by maintaining standards for access to prevent plan participants from traveling long distances for medical care, keeping network directories up to date, notifying patients of network changes and allowing people with serious health needs to stay with their provider.

    The Network Adequacy and Transparency Act has earned broad support from both Republicans and Democrats as well as the American Cancer Society, the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, the Illinois State Medical Society and many other health organizations.

    “This legislation is needed because people think they are playing by the rules when purchasing health insurance, but are often in for a surprise when they try to go to a doctor,” said Illinois State Medical Society President Thomas M. Anderson, MD. “Patients may have done their homework and checked that their doctor is in-network, only to show up to their appointment and find out the insurance company website was out-of-date and they won’t get the coverage they were promised.”

     The Network Adequacy and Transparency Act, House Bill 311, was signed into law today. It goes into effect January 1, 2018.

     

  • Lightford has “deep concern” over latest revelation of Rauner mismanagement

    Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

    Failing $94 Million Online Healthcare Contract Excludes Minority Business Opportunity

    SPRINGFIELD — Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) today expressed deep concern over an Associated Press report that suggests that Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration took action to purposely exclude state guidelines aimed at encouraging minority-owned business opportunities in an effort to steer a nearly $100 million taxpayer-funded contract to a private company that is charged with creating online efficiency in state employee health insurance processing.

    The news story, published on Sunday, highlights that the system was hastily designed and has caused serious difficulties in managing health care records of potentially hundreds of thousands of public employees and retirees. In addition, the investigation exposes the Rauner administration’s efforts to award the massive contract to Georgia-based company Morneau Shepell in what appears to be a favored contractor:

    “Documents show CMS staff members were told to proceed without following guidelines for ensuring minority-owned business participation,” the AP story says.

    “Bruce Rauner might have purchased the Illinois Republican Party, but he doesn’t own the State of Illinois,” Lightford says. “It’s outrageous to discover that he thinks it’s perfectly legitimate to misuse the trust of taxpayers to skirt rules aimed at giving all qualified businesses an equal playing field.”

    Lightford says she is discussing the possibility of utilizing part of Governor Rauner’s 10-day Special Session mandate to conduct a hearing on the failures of the Morneau Shepell contract as well as the procedures and decisions for discarding procurement rules.  

    “I don’t care if Bruce Rauner doesn’t like the long-established requirements to include and consider minority and woman owned businesses, I care that he decided to simply discard them,” said Lightford. “There’s a need for accountability here and I suspect questions will need good answers. We should do that in a public hearing, not behind the Governor’s preferred closed doors.”

    Throughout the past six months a number of news investigations have highlighted serious flaws in the judgement of Rauner officials when it comes to hiring and contracting. Already, the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committees have held in-depth hearings on what appear to be multi-million dollar insider leasing schemes to store supplies like paper in private warehouses.

  • Murphy to Trump: Hands off our health care

    murphy 032917SPRINGFIELD – President Trump this week signed into law legislation to allow states to withhold family planning funds from women’s health care providers, such as Planned Parenthood.

    Earlier this year, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) joined with her colleagues in the Senate Public Health Committee to block legislation that would have made it more difficult for women to have access to health care from advancing. 

    “These actions taken by President Trump are just another example of an attempt to strip away women’s access to health care,” Murphy said. “I remain committed to stopping President Trump and his extremist proposals that will set women’s health care decisions back decades.”

  • Murphy votes to support women’s healthcare

    murphy 021617SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy on Wednesday helped block a measure that would have made it more difficult for women to access reproductive health care services in Illinois.

    Senate Bill 78 would have prevented state agencies from contracting with facilities that perform abortions. Murphy and five other Senate Democrats stopped the legislation from advancing out of the Senate’s Public Health committee.

    “At a time when President Trump is attempting to strip away women’s access to health care, we must continue to fight to protect these rights,” said Murphy, a Des Plaines Democrat. “I will continue to stand up to overreaching proposals that set women’s rights back decades.”

    The legislation was opposed by Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Men4Choice, Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force and other organizations that support women’s health.

    Senate Bill 78 failed in committee.

  • Senate Democrats sound off against defunding women’s healthcare

    PP041417Several Senate Democrats spoke out against President Trump’s decision to sign legislation that allows states to withhold federal funds from organizations that offer abortion services.

    “This decision has nothing to do with abortion services and has everything to do with restricting women’s access to health care,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “Contrary to popular belief, Title X funds from the federal government cannot be used for abortion services. Instead, they give low-income women access to contraceptives, Pap smears and a host of other preventative health care services.”

    Earlier this year, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) joined with her colleagues in the Senate Public Health Committee to block legislation that would have made it more difficult for women to have access to health care from advancing.  

    “These actions taken by President Trump are just another example of an attempt to strip away women’s access to health care,” Murphy said. “I remain committed to stopping President Trump and his extremist proposals that will set women’s health care decisions back decades.”

    State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) stated that “this action reinforces the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and ensure that women can no longer be discriminated on the basis of their sex. I will not be complicit to the Executive branch’s agenda. It’s time for Illinois to formally recognize that women have equal rights to men and bring our nation one step closer to ratifying the 28th Amendment.”

  • Senate passes Martinez plan allowing thousands of children to keep health insurance (VIDEO)

     

    Senate passes Martinez plan allowing thousands of children to keep health insurance

  • Senator Holmes on Healthcare Right of Conscience

    Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) speaks to her personal experience and feelings regarding the healthcare right of conscience act.


  • Senator Hutchinson Healthcare Right of Conscience

    Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) speaks to her personal experience and feelings regarding the healthcare right of conscience act.


  • Tom Cullerton and task force members to continue open hearings on Veterans’ Suicide Prevention

    053016CM0641RVILLA PARK - According to a recent U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs study, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in this country.

    To stop this alarming trend, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and the Task Force on Veterans’ Suicide will hear from veterans, health care professionals and community groups to investigate the causes to and prevention of suicides among returning Illinois veterans.

    “Every life we save will have an everlasting impact on families across our community and nation,” Cullerton said. “Our mission is clear: we need to reduce all statistics to zero suicides.”