Medicaid

  • Gillespie brings Medicaid Working Group to safety-net hospitals

    gillespie 072220CHICAGO – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) welcomed legislators and staff to tour two safety-net hospitals on Tuesday. Attendees included members of the bipartisan Legislative Medicaid Working Group and Senate leadership.

    “Our working group and Senate leaders were able to see first-hand the important role of safety-net hospitals and the work they do for underserved communities,” Gillespie said. “The patients served by safety-net hospitals are largely uninsured or are covered by Medicaid or Medicare; as a result, safety-net hospitals often look beyond traditional health care to addressing social determinants of care to better serve their communities.”

  • Aquino: New law provides additional funding to hospitals serving low-income families

    aquino 051619SPRINGFIELD – 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.”

  • New Hunter law expands access to health care for low-income communities

    New Hunter law expands access to health care for low-income communities

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  • Pritzker signs Manar proposal to cover cancer clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries

    manar 031120SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Medicaid recipients are now eligible for life-saving clinical trials to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

    This afternoon, Governor Pritzker enacted Senate Bill 1864, a health care package that includes a proposal by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) requiring the state’s Medicaid program to cover routine care costs incurred for an approved clinical trial involving the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or any other life-threatening disease, as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine care costs for a non-clinical procedure.

    “It’s not an exaggeration to say that this law will save lives. For too long, some people were granted access to the most advanced and potentially life-saving cancer treatment, and others weren’t, simply depending on which insurance plan they had. That injustice ended today,” Manar said. “I appreciate Governor Pritzker’s demonstrated commitment to advancing equity in health care.”

    Initially introduced and carried through the Senate by Manar, the initiative was included in a broader health care package passed by the General Assembly during the abbreviated special session in May.

    More than 20% of Illinoisans are covered by Medicaid, making it the second largest type of insurance behind Medicare.

    Medicare and private insurance carriers are already required to provide coverage for routine care costs in clinical trial participation. Medicaid is not. This legislation would align Medicaid coverage for clinical trials with coverage under those insurance plans.

    Because routine costs would be paid for by Medicaid if the patient were not on a clinical trial, there is minimal cost difference for Medicaid to cover these costs within a clinical trial.

    Manar worked closely with the American Cancer Society to draft the proposal.

    “The state has taken an important step to ensure the viability of new cancer research in our state and to allow an additional 20% of Illinois residents to have access to the latest treatments and therapies,” said Shana Crews, Government Relations Director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We look forward to working with state leaders to further reduce Illinois’ cancer burden.”

  • General Assembly approves Manar measure to cover cancer clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries

    cancertrial 052720SPRINGFIELD – With Gov. Pritzker’s signature, Illinois Medicaid recipients would be eligible for life-saving clinical trials to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

    During the abbreviated session last week, the Illinois General Assembly approved a plan by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) that would require Medicaid to cover routine care costs incurred for an approved clinical trial involving the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or any other life-threatening disease, as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine care costs for a non-clinical procedure.

    “This is a major stride toward health care equity that will save lives. Access to the latest, most advanced cancer treatments can mean the difference between life and death for patients, treatments that they are unable to access today,” Manar said. “The type of insurance you have shouldn’t disqualify you from accessing treatment that could save your life.”

    More than 20% of Illinoisans are covered by Medicaid, making it the second largest type of insurance behind Medicare.

    Medicare and private insurance carriers are already required to provide coverage for routine care costs in clinical trial participation. Medicaid is not. This legislation would align Medicaid coverage for clinical trials with coverage under those insurance plans.

    Because routine costs would be paid for by Medicaid if the patient were not on a clinical trial, there is minimal cost difference for Medicaid to cover these costs within a clinical trial.

    This legislation was an initiative of the American Cancer Society.

    “We thank the legislature for taking this step and look forward to working with them to continue to reduce Illinois’ cancer burden in the near future,” said Shana Crews, Government Relations Director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

  • Hunter helps pass legislation to cover cancer clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries

    hunter floor 0523SPRINGFIELD – With Gov. Pritzker’s signature, Illinois Medicaid recipients would be eligible for life-saving clinical trials to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

    “We know that African-Americans are significantly underrepresented among those who participate in clinical trials, meaning we lose out on life-saving opportunities and unanswered questions then remain on the effectiveness of these medications for blacks,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago). “Because Medicaid recipients are much more diverse, this measure will help reduce that disparity for black patients and for low-income white residents, while advancing the overall fight against cancer.”

  • 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.”

  • Manar advances measure to cover cancer clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries

    Sen. Andy ManarSPRINGFIELD – Illinois Medicaid recipients considering clinical trials for cancer treatment would no longer face possible rejection of coverage for care under legislation advanced out of the Senate Human Services Committee by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on Wednesday.

    “Access to the latest, most advanced cancer treatments can mean the difference between life and death for patients,” Manar said. “I take issue with the fact that some people are granted that access and others aren’t, simply depending on which insurance plan they have. This legislation solves that.”

    An initiative of the American Cancer Society, Senate Bill 2499 requires Medicaid to cover routine care costs incurred for an approved clinical trial involving the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or any other life-threatening disease, as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine care costs for a non-clinical procedure.

  • Peters: Trump’s Medicaid cut proposal yet another attack on vulnerable communities

    Senator PetersSPRINGFIELD – The Trump administration announced Thursday its intention to overhaul Medicaid funding. In response, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), fearing for the wellbeing of the millions of people who rely on Medicaid to receive health care, released the following statement:

    “Donald Trump is once again showing how out of touch he is by proposing cuts to a program that an overwhelming majority of Americans support. This is yet another attack by the president against the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

    Under current federal law, states are reimbursed a set percentage for Medicaid spending by the federal government based on per-capita income. The announced plan gives states the option to receive Medicaid funding as a set amount in one lump sum irrespective of how much they actually spend in a given fiscal year.

  • Manar leads fight on behalf of rural pharmacies

    Sen. Andy ManarLegislation targets middle men who drive up costs to taxpayers, customers, pharmacies

    SPRINGFIELD – Pharmacy middle men are driving up the costs of prescription drugs for customers and squeezing out rural pharmacies, all while putting taxpayers on the hook for greater costs, State Senator Andy Manar said.

    The Bunker Hill Democrat is renewing his effort to impose state oversight on pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, that negotiate drug prices and benefits on behalf of insurance plans. This week he introduced Senate Bill 652. House Majority Leader Greg Harris (D-Chicago) has introduced similar legislation, House Bill 465, in the House.

  • Manar: Rural Illinois continues to pay for Rauner administration’s missteps

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  • Haine supports measure to ensure nursing homes aren’t punished for state’s mistakes

    Sen. William R. HaineSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) co-sponsored and spoke adamantly in support of a measure passed by the Illinois Senate that will allow patients who have waited more than 45 days to determine their Medicaid status to become provisionally eligible.

    Haine co-sponsored the legislation after hearing dozens of complaints from frustrated constituents who experienced significant delays in getting their Medicaid status approved.

    Federal law requires the state to make this determination in less than 45 days, but in Illinois many patients have been callously forced to wait several months, and in some cases even up to a year.

  • Murphy pushes back against Rauner, fights for transparency

    murphy 041118SPRINGFIELD — Today State Senator Laura Murphy pushed back against the Rauner administration by advancing a Medicaid managed care transparency measure he previously vetoed.

    “The governor made a mistake when he rejected this proposal and attempted to put a multibillion dollar industry before taxpayers and Medicaid recipients,” Murphy (D-Des Plaines) said. “I couldn’t stand for that. I will continue to fight for transparency in Medicaid managed care programs.”

    Senate Bill 2447 requires the auditor general to conduct a performance audit of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Medicaid managed care program by Jan. 1, 2019.

    The audit would probe whether DHFS has developed and applied standardized quality performance measures to Medicaid Managed Care Entities. It would also examine if the department has implemented measures to automatically assign Medicaid patients into managed care entities.

    Performance audits can only be conducted at the request of the General Assembly or the Audit Commission, Murphy noted.

    “The governor thought that this type of audit could be conducted as part of an existing investigation, but that’s not how it works,” she said. “I want to ensure the Medicaid managed care program operated by the Rauner administration is effectively using taxpayer dollars. This is one of the state’s largest contracts. It deserves a closer look.”

    This transparency measure was formerly Senate Bill 321, which Murphy proposed last year. The governor vetoed it Sept. 22, 2017.

  • 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.”

  • Steans leverages federal funds to support Medicaid program

    steans 022818 3SPRINGFIELD – Hospitals that serve Medicaid patients would continue to benefit from federal funding under a measure sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) which passed the Senate today.

    “I have worked with my colleagues in both chambers for several months to develop a new Medicaid Hospital Assessment Program that is fair to patients and hospitals,” said Steans. “This new program supports hospitals that serve a vital role in communities while distributing funding in a more accurate manner.”

  • Ballooning Medicaid program costs highlight governor’s mismanagement

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  • Senate gives Rauner more time to ponder choice

    Sen. Don HarmonSPRINGFIELD – Saying the governor needs time to reconsider his pledge to veto House Bill 40, legislation that protects women’s reproductive rights in Illinois, Senator Don Harmon Wednesday night slowed the bill’s trek to the governor’s desk.

    “This measure is too important to immediately put it in the hands of a governor whose public opinions about women’s access to safe, affordable reproductive health care have been inconsistent at best,” said Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat and president pro tempore of the Illinois Senate.

    Harmon is the chief co-sponsor of House Bill 40. Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, is the lead sponsor. Gov. Bruce Rauner has threatened to veto the measure, even though he pledged to support it when he was a candidate for governor.

    “Wednesday night, in consultation with Senator Steans and the advocates, I filed a motion to reconsider the Senate’s vote to pass House Bill 40, which means we will temporarily hold the bill in the Senate,” Harmon said. “This motion merely allows the Senate to protect the bill from Gov. Rauner’s threatened veto until he comes to his senses. It does not jeopardize the bill’s ability to become law.”

  • Harmon: Debating women’s reproductive health care? How 1960s of us.

    Sen. Don HarmonSPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement today regarding his vote in support of House Bill 40, legislation that would ensure women in Illinois continue to have access to important reproductive health care:

    “It’s 2017. Women make up just over half of the population in Illinois, and 70 percent of them are in the labor force,” Harmon said.

    “But today, rather than paving the way to lift women out of poverty, close the gender wage gap, make child care more affordable or enable all parents to take time off to care for sick kids, the Illinois Senate had to debate whether it’s appropriate to reassure the women who live and work in our communities that they are legally entitled to access the medical care of their choosing without government interference.

    “How 1960s of us.

  • Biss: A vote for HB40 is a vote for safe women’s reproductive health care

    Sen. Daniel BissSPRINGFIELD – Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) issued the following statement today regarding his vote in support of House Bill 40, legislation that ensures women in Illinois continue to have access to important reproductive health care:

    “Consider what we know about how President Trump sees America. We know he has objectionable views on women’s autonomy, and we know his administration has been surprisingly eager to scale back laws supporting groups of people who fought hard to earn basic civil rights in the first place.

  • Martinez supports bill protecting legal abortion in Illinois

    Sen. Iris Y. MartinezSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) voted today for a measure that would protect legal abortion in Illinois, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

    HB 40, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), removes the trigger language from a previous Illinois law that would outlaw abortion in the state if the landmark case were overturned. It also allows Medicaid and state employee health plans to cover legal abortions.

    “A woman’s right to choose is under attack at a federal level and in many states,” Martinez said. “I am proud that we in Illinois are committed to keeping the government out of a decision that should be solely up to the woman. I hope Governor Rauner lives up to his promise and signs this legislation.”

    HB 40 passed the House 62-55 in last month. It passed the Senate 33-22 today and will move to the governor’s desk. Governor Rauner said in 2014 that he would sign the bill if it passed, then went back on that statement earlier this year, saying he would veto it.