Text Size

Koehler: Medicaid program shouldn’t be used to pad corporate profits

koehler 022718SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would help small business owners who supply durable medical equipment to Medicaid patients passed the Senate Human Services Committee last week. Durable medical equipment includes equipment such as portable oxygen, feeding tubes and ventilators.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is the sponsor of SB 2262, which would require that the suppliers of the equipment are reimbursed the same amount as the Medicaid Fee for Service fee schedule.

“While some believe the state should have no role in assisting businesses, it’s different when we are talking about life saving equipment for young children,” Koehler said. “I don’t think we should allow this dog-eat-dog environment to put the safety and well-being of Medicaid patients and their families at risk.“

Senator Koehler said that comments made during the committee hearing were misleading and showed a lack of understanding of how the Medicaid system works, pointing out that any “savings” generated from rate cuts will not translate to savings for taxpayers.

“Cutting the rate at which small business owners are reimbursed serves only to send more tax dollars to for-profit medical corporations,” Koehler said. “Last I checked, the purpose of Medicaid is to provide quality health care services, not make money.”

This comes after a report from the Auditor General that found that the Rauner administration has done little if anything at all to collect information needed to determine if the state’s largest contract in history is actually saving any money. The latest estimate places the cost of the contract at $63 billion over five years, nearly $23 billion higher than the Rauner administration originally estimated.

Sen. David Koehler

46th District

Years served:
Appointed December 2006; Elected 2008 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Local Government; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Labor.

Biography: Born and raised in South Dakota, moved to Peoria in 1978; B.A., Yankton College, 1971; M.A. in divinity, United Theological Seminary, 1974; staff member, National Farm Worker Ministry; community organizer and program manager, Peoria Friendship House; executive director, Peoria Area Labor Management Council; president, Labor Management Cooperative Health Programs Inc.; Peoria County Board member, 1982-88; Peoria City Council member, 1989-97 (mayor pro tem, 1993-94); first elected to Senate in 2006; married with three daughters, a son-in-law and two granddaughters.

Associated Representative(s): Michael Unes, Jehan A. Gordon-Booth