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What health reform means for the people of Illinois

A blog by IllinoisHealthMatters.org

Friday, December 7, 2012

The 12 Days of … Medicaid?

On the 1st day of Medicaid the IL House should give us Medicaid for 342K uninsured, 2 of 3 working.
BACKGROUND: HB 6253 will cover an estimated 342,000 uninsured Illinoisans. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (link to http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/8350.pdf), over 60% of these newly eligible individuals are employed, but working at low-wage or part-time jobs that offer don’t offer health insurance at all, or offer coverage that is not affordable.

On the 2nd day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should provide coverage to 342K, feds pay 100% thru 2016.
BACKGROUND: HB 6253 will leverage $5.7 billion in Medicaid funding to cover low-income, uninsured people in Illinois. The best part? It will cost Illinois nothing in 2014-2016 because the federal government will pay 100% of the cost. The state pays no more than 10% through 2020. Support HB 6253! Click here to send a message to your Illinois legislator. http://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/8810/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=8966

On the 3rd day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should create new health care jobs.
BACKGROUND: Covering newly eligible people will create jobs and generate revenue. A substantial number of jobs will be generated by the Affordable Care Act’s $5.7 billion in federal funding for Medicaid due to its multiplier effect throughout the economy. State and local revenue increase when Illinois residents pay income, sales, and other taxes generated by the federal funding for covering newly eligible people; this revenue would offset much, perhaps all, of any additional costs. Source: http://www.theshriverbrief.org/2012/07/articles/health-care-justice/expanding-medicaid-the-choice-is-clear/

On the 4th day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should cut $1K hidden health tax on people w/insurance.
BACKGROUND: Every family with health insurance pays an additional $1,000 per year to pay for care for the uninsured.  Hospitals and doctors raise the rates they charge people with insurance to cover bills for people who can’t pay them, which are then passed along in the form of higher insurance rates.  Covering 342,000 Illinoisans through new Medicaid will reduce uncompensated care and slow the rise in costs of private insurance for all of us. Read the Families USA report, and then take action and tell your Illinois legislator to support HB 6253.

On the 5th day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should give IL $5.7 b federal $ for 342K newly insured.

BACKGROUND: HB 6253 will leverage $4.6 billion in new federal Medicaid funding for Illinois in 2014-16. This will allow the state to provide comprehensive health care coverage for an estimated 342,000, low-income people who are currently uninsured. Most importantly, the federal government will pay 100% of the cost of care for this new population in 2014-17, dropping to 90% by 2020.

On the 6th day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should provide 342k Illinoisans access to preventive services.
BACKGROUND: Today, low-income uninsured people have limited access to cost-saving prevention services like mammograms, diabetes or heart disease screens, HIV tests, flu shots, or counseling to stop smoking. These services lead to early detection and treatment of costly and life-threatening medical conditions that can cause disability or death. HB 6253 will leverage federal Medicaid funding and bend the health care cost curve by providing these and other prevention services to 342,000 low-income, uninsured Illinoisans.

On the 7th day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should provide a healthier workforce by passing HB 6253.
BACKGROUND: Over 60% of people newly eligible for Medicaid as a result of HB 6253 are working. Providing Medicaid to this group would improve their health, as shown by a New England Journal of Medicine study of Oregon (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1108222). The study demonstrated that newly enrolled individuals were 25% more likely to report that they were in good health. Other research shows that Medicaid coverage reduces the death rate (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/health/policy/medicaid-expansion-may-lower-death-rate-study-says.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0).

On the 8th day of Medicaid, the IL General Assembly should see a local map of new Medicaid eligibles
Health & Disability Advocates has built a great tool that maps where individuals newly eligible for Medicaid live. You can dive down to your community area for details and demographics. Check it out!  http://visualizingreform.illinoishealthmatters.org/uninsured#40,25|-88,5|7|-1|4 Legislative district data will be available online in January 2013!

On the 9th day of Medicaid, the Gen Assembly should replace state funding w/ federal $$ for mental health care.
Illinois now spends millions of dollars in state general funds on mental health services for low-income, uninsured people. The Center on Budget & Policy Priorities estimates that State and local governments provided 44 percent of the funding for state mental health agencies in 2009, amounting to $17 billion. By passing HB 6253 and providing Medicaid coverage to these individuals, Illinois can leverage federal funding to cover half or more of the cost of these services, significantly reducing the cost to the state.

On the 10th day of Medicaid, the IL Gen Assembly should bring health coverage to +12K uninsured #vets in Illinois with HB 6253.
Covering newly eligible people will provide Medicaid coverage for Illinois’ veterans. Not all veterans are able to get care at a Veterans Affairs hospital. And, in fact, according to the Social IMPACT Research’s Center, filling the Medicaid gap would bring health coverage to 1,800 of the new veterans in Illinois (military service members who have been deployed in 2001 or later) and 12,600 of all veterans. Illinois needs to take care of veterans, and filling the Medicaid gap will do just that for many of them. Nationally, in 2014, nearly half of uninsured veterans will likely qualify for the new Medicaid coverage

On the 11th day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should provide more support for community health centers.
Today, community health centers (also called Federally Qualified Health Centers) are one of the only sources of free health care for hundreds of thousands of low-income, uninsured people in Illinois. HB 6253 will provide many of those individuals with health insurance through Medicaid, helping community health centers to strengthen their finances and provide better, more comprehensive care, including prevention services. More information on community health centers and health reform can be found here.

On the 12th day of Medicaid the Gen Assembly should simply do the right thing & pass HB 6253
BACKGROUND:The Medicaid expansion is simply the right thing to do. We have a chance, through the incredible leveraging of federal funds, to provide health coverage—and the chance for better health and upward mobility—to hundreds of thousands of our state’s most vulnerable, needy residents. We can create a system that expands its circle of moral concern to include the uninsured, recognizing as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in N.F.I.B. v. Sebelius, that “[v]irtually everyone … consumes health care at some point in his or her life.”

Starting today, we’re kicking off a new feature called the “12 Days of Medicaid.” It’s a social media advocacy campaign designed to educate Illinoisans about the importance of passing the Medicaid Eligibility Expansion (HB 6253) in early January 2013.

The bill will allow Illinois to leverage over $5 billion in federal Medicaid funding to provide comprehensive health care coverage to over 342,000 low-income individuals. The new funding was made available through the Affordable Care Act. The Illinois General Assembly needs to pass HB 6253 by January 9, 2013, the end of the current legislative session, to ensure programs and systems are in place just 12 months from now when one of the largest parts of health care reform begins.

For more information on HB 6253, here are several fact sheets: 
Medicaid Financing for the Uninsured Under the Affordable Care Act 
What is the Medicaid Expansion? Fact Sheet and Client Stories 
Medicaid Opportunity Fact Sheet With List of Supporters

So stay tuned for a social media message of the day every weekday from now through December 24. 

Please share the messages on Facebook and Twitter and urge your friends and family members to tell their legislators to support common-sense, fiscally sound legislation in Illinois. 

AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Health & Disability Advocates
Heartland Alliance
Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law


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