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What health reform means for the people of Illinois

A blog by IllinoisHealthMatters.org

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A New Year and New Medicaid Awaits Us


What an amazing and historic beginning to the start of 2013. This week an Illinois legislative body advanced a major piece of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), when the House Human Services Appropriation Committee passed HB 6253, Medicaid Financing for the Uninsured.

After the committee vote, the waning hours of the current term of the General Assembly did not provide enough time to advance the bill further. Nevertheless, our momentum continues with renewed commitment and excitement.

This effort brought together an unusual mixture of health care providers, business interests, patients and advocates, demonstrating as great a degree of consensus on an issue like this as you are likely ever to find. We know it is right and advantageous for Illinois to accept new federal Medicaid funding, fill a historic gap in the Medicaid program and provide health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of the lowest income uninsured Illinois residents.

The fight continues and we have laid the scaffolding for us to build upon as we enter the 98th General Assembly today. Illinois House and Senate members will file new Medicaid bills, and once the new General Assembly begins, your voices will need to be heard again with in-district meetings, emails and phone calls to your Senators and Representatives, many of whom will be new in office or serving from redrawn districts. It will be critical that these legislators hear from you.

Thank you for all you have done. And thank you, in advance, for all the help you will provide in helping to achieve federal Medicaid funding for the uninsured in Illinois.

Ramon Gardenhire
Director of Government Relations
AIDS Foundation of Chicago

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