• The Majority Report 07/13/20 - Health care expansion for low-income families and communities


    New Hunter law expands access to health care for communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19

    Older peopleCHICAGO — State Senator Mattie Hunter’s (D-Chicago) legislation aimed at improving access to health care in communities across Illinois that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law last week by Governor JB Pritzker.

    “In Illinois, you deserve access to high-quality health care and treatment, no matter your economic status, your ZIP code or what you look like,” Hunter said. “This law extends that promise to many of our neighbors who have been left out, often due to long-standing racial health and economic disparities.”

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    Aquino applauds legislation aimed to provide funding for hospitals serving low-income families

    Sen. Omar AquinoCHICAGO — State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) applauds the signing of legislation aimed at providing funding to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law brings an additional $450 million to safety-net hospitals, prioritizing the institutions that serve a high number of Medicaid patients.

    “I thank Governor J.B. Pritzker for signing this legislation that brings certainty to health care providers and the low-income clients they serve,” Aquino said. “The additional money will be vital to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.”

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    Villanueva encourages youth employment assistance providers to apply for state grant

    Youth employmentCHICAGO — With young people facing high rates of unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) announced the Illinois Youth Investment Program is extending its grant application deadline to Aug. 3, 2020.

    “For most of my career I have been dedicated to the development of young people and am continuously amazed at the things that they can accomplish,” Villanueva said. “Organizations looking to help at-risk young people should apply for these grants so that they have the necessary resources to set them up for success.”

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    Lightford: Chicago gun violence is a symptom of a larger problem

    Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordCHICAGO — Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Chicago saw gun violence across the city, including the deaths of 7-year-old Natalia Wallace and 14-year-old Vernado Jones. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement in reaction to the devastating events that took place.

    “I have dedicated my career to the idea that every child deserves a quality education, a transformative tool they can use to better themselves. Then, tragedies like the killings of Natalia Wallace and Vernado Jones happen, and we are once again facing the dark reality that our children are not safe enough to benefit from any education."

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    Senator Cristina Castro: Presentan en Illinois una nueva legislación que busca una mayor diversidad en entidades financieras | Univision

    Senator Laura Ellman and Senator Glowiak-Hilton: Edward-Elmhurst Health thanks area legislators | The TImes Weekly

    Senator Kimberly Lightford and Senator Patricia Van Pelt: There could be more video connected to Eric Lurry’s death that Joliet police haven’t released to the public | CBS 2 Chicago

    Senator Andy Manar: Cancer trials for Medicaid recipients now covered | FOX Illinois


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  • Steans passes plan for additional funding to hospitals, Medicaid

    Sen. Heather A. SteansSPRINGFIELD The General Assembly passed a revamped hospital assessment plan Friday that infuses an additional $450 million annually to Illinois hospitals.

    “One of the most important things we can do right now is ensure the long term viability of Medicaid and our hospital system,” said State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago). “I’m grateful for the quick work my colleagues did in negotiating and passing this legislation.”

  • State helps support struggling hospitals

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  • Steans proposal to overhaul Medicaid program becomes law

    steans 031218CHICAGO – Hospitals that serve Medicaid patients are one step closer to benefiting from federal funding under a measure sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) which was signed into law today.

    “The new Medicaid Hospital Assessment Program will ensure that hospitals across the state can continue to receive federal funding to treat Medicaid patients,” Steans said. “Without this legislation, many hospitals would not be able to finance helping some of Illinois’ neediest residents. This new assessment program is fair to patients and hospitals.”

  • Sen. Jones demands funding for Roseland and safety-net hospitals

    jones 012918CHICAGO – Today, State Senator Emil Jones III (D - CHICAGO) joined elected officials at Roseland Community Hospital to discuss the financial future of Roseland and safety-net hospitals around the state.

    “Safety-net hospitals provide quality health care to the poorest communities, which is something that all people in Illinois deserve, regardless of their race or income,” said Jones. “These hospitals also employ an estimated 25,000 people in Illinois and 23,000 people across the Chicagoland area.”

    To remain at a sustainable funding level for the year, Roseland has laid off nearly seven percent of its staff and reduced the pay of all of its doctors and nurses. As of now, all “fixed payments” to hospitals will sunset on June 30, 2018.  The hospital assessment program, a combination of state and federal funds that provides financial relief across the state, is up for negotiation, creating uncertainty among safety-net hospitals.

    “Ensuring safety-net hospital funding for the next fiscal year has to be a top priority in Springfield,” Jones said. “Roseland, along with many other hospitals, is suffering tremendously—they cannot stand to lose any federal dollars.”

    In the past, it has taken each hospital assessment 12-15 months for federal approval. It is estimated that taxed payments account for almost 50 percent of all payments to safety-net hospitals.