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ACA Under Attack

Posted by on Jun 15, 2018 in Access to health, Insurance, Legal Updates | 0 comments

ACA Under Attack

Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan has join a coalition of 16 Attorneys General that are opposing a lawsuit filed by Texas and several other states.

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Client Story: the Rodriguez Family

Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 in Client Stories | 0 comments

Client Story: the Rodriguez Family

Rose and Miguel Rodriguez were a couple struggling to make ends meet, like many hardworking families in Illinois. Though they were both undocumented, Miguel had a steady job and was trying hard to provide a stable home for his three children: Felix, age 9, Mary, age 4, and Julio, age 2. Recovering from a stroke and struggling with language and memory issues, Rose was unable to work. Each child had a medical disability, but Rose and Miguel were doing their best to get their children the care they needed.

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Policy Update: Legal Council Advocacy Victories

Posted by on Jun 7, 2018 in Access to health, Access to Medications, Advocacy, Home Page Sliders, Legislative Bills | 0 comments

Policy Update: Legal Council Advocacy Victories

May was a busy month for the legal experts here at Legal Council for Health Justice. When we weren’t serving and empowering low-income people with chronic illnesses or disabilities at over a dozen on-site clinics across the city, or suing the State of Illinois on behalf of thousands of Illinoisans wrongfully delayed or denied Medicaid coverage, OR leading advocacy efforts in the State Board of Education investigation into CPS’ special education program and procedural violations, our team was hard at work advocating for numerous policies across the State. Collaborative leadership with our phenomenal community partners made these legislative victories possible: SB 454, Enhancing Parent Participation in CPS Special Education: In the wake of a path-breaking inquiry into CPS’ special education policies and procedures that found significant violations to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Legal Council continued its work with our allies in the advocate community to ensure CPS is held accountable. We took an important step in that direction by collaborating with Rep. Fred Crespo to pass an amendment to SB 454 in the waning days of the legislative session, providing parents and guardians with more information about their students and the IEP process while strengthening transparency and better enabling parents to participate as equal team members in CPS’ special education process. This bill passed both the House and the Senate on May 31, and is on its way to Gov. Rauner’s desk. SB 3015, Stock Asthma Rescue Medication in Schools: The expert advocates in our children & families program have been hard at work in strengthening access to care for children across Chicagoland and Illinois. The Stock Asthma Rescue Medication in Schools bill passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, allowing schools to stock undesignated asthma rescue medication and allowing school nurses and trained school staff to provide the medication at the first signs of respiratory distress. In Illinois, more than 330,000 children have reported asthma, but less than 25% of this children have their asthma under proper control; in one school year, students miss an estimated number of 300,000 school days in Illinois due to asthma. SB 3015 serves to create a safer environment for all students living with asthma. In a press release, Legal Council’s Children & Families Program Director Amy Zimmerman said “SB 3015 will give schools the ability to quickly respond to asthma emergencies and work with students and families to ensure ongoing proper asthma management at school.” Legal Council partnered with Respiratory Health Association to propose this policy, as well as to create an issue brief analyzing the fit and feasibility of stock asthma rescue medication in Illinois schools. SB 3015 is currently on its way to Gov. Rauner to be signed into law. HB 2624 SA3, the Short Term Limited Duration Health Insurance Coverage Act: Alongside our Protect Our Care Illinois partners, Legal Council advocates led the charge on HB 2624, which will impose a six-month limit on short-term insurance plans. This effort comes after regulation changes proposed by the federal government to increase access to short term plans, which are meant to serve as coverage for people in between health plans–like when someone changes jobs. Short-term health plans are different from other health insurance plans: short-term plans offer strict limitations on coverage, including excluding coverage for preexisting conditions, prescription drugs, and...

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Legal Council’s 30th Anniversary Gala

Posted by on Jun 6, 2018 in Home Page Sliders | 0 comments

Legal Council’s 30th Anniversary Gala

Tickets are on sale now for Legal Council’s 30th Anniversary Gala! You are cordially invited to join Gala Co-Chairs Kimball R. Anderson & Karen Gatsis Anderson for a spectacular evening to celebrate 30 years of Legal Council for Health Justice. The night will offer superb food and cocktails, dancing, awards, and fun surprises you don’t want to miss. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Legal Council’s past achievements and learning what the future...

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Pharmacies: An Endangered Species

Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Access to health, Access to Medications | 0 comments

Pharmacies: An Endangered Species

A growing trend in the low income neighborhoods of Chicago is causing a great deal of concern for public health

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Legal Council Advocates VS. CPS Special Education

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in Advocacy, Child health, Home Page Sliders, Special education | 0 comments

Legal Council Advocates VS. CPS Special Education

After a public inquiry team, led by the Illinois State Board of Education, spent the last five months investigating Chicago Public Schools’ Special Education policies and practices and found significant and unnecessary delays and denials in services, the Board voted Wednesday to approve an independent monitor to oversee CPS as it works to implement changes. This news also comes after a survey crafted by Legal Council & other Special Education advocates identified devastating delays, denials and roadblocks in providing Special Education services to CPS students. More than 2,200 people responded to the survey, including teachers, parents, and school administrators. 45% of all survey respondents reported cases where students’ required aides were denied, due to “insufficient student data,” or a representative did not attend a meeting to finalize the student’s Individualized Education Plan–which is a violation of federal law. 95% of teachers and more than 90% of administrators claimed they did not receive training on a new “revised” CPS Special Education manual, contrary to statements from former-CEO Forrest Claypool 46% of parents stated their child was not receiving the services as outlined in their IEP in this school year In the same question of whether services were being provided to their child, 22% of parents said they were unsure. “This survey conducted over only two weeks time magnifies the depth of the violations of children’s rights and the extent to which CPS fails to engage stakeholders,” Legal Council for Health Justice managing attorney Amy Zimmerman added. “Over 1,400 anonymous comments bolster the need for whistleblower protections along with accountability.” – “New survey shows CPS special ed problems continue despite ISBE probe“ While an independent monitor to CPS’ Special Education programs is a good first step in addressing these issues, Special Education Legal Advocate Barb Cohen stated at Wednesday’s hearing that ISBE requires “21 tasks [that] can’t be achieved by one monitor.” On Wednesday, our child health program director Amy Zimmerman said down with WTTW’s Chicago Tonight to talk about the announcement: “We cannot change this culture or practice at CPS without robust supports,” said Amy Zimmerman of the Legal Council for Health Justice, “and that’s going to require a significant amount not only of monitoring and ensuring compliance with the remedies that ISBE has put forth, but there’s also a requirement for a lot of technical assistance that they’re going to...

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Attorneys enforce Medicaid class action

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in Advocacy, Home Page Sliders | 0 comments

Attorneys enforce Medicaid class action

Attorneys from Legal Council for Health Justice, the Shriver Center, and Sidley Austin LLP filed in court today on behalf of thousands of low-income people to enforce federal law and the State of Illinois’ agreement to process Medicaid applications in a timely fashion. The attorneys charge that the State is violating both federal law and an Illinois court order by significantly delaying Medicaid applications and denying residents access to health coverage. “The State of Illinois is clearly in violation of federal law and thousands of Illinoisans are suffering gravely because of it,” said Carrie Chapman, director of advocacy at Legal Council for Health Justice, one of the organizations that helped file the motion. “DHS must provide our clients with access to the care they need and are legally entitled to—we simply can’t wait any longer.” Illinois moved to a new computer system for eligibility resulting in delays in processing tens of thousands of Medicaid applications. This is a public health crisis. While Medicaid applications pend, people cannot get medically-necessary care. Newborn babies are not added to Medicaid and wait months for immunizations and well-baby visits to make sure that they are developing properly. Seniors and others with chronic conditions forgo regular medical care and medications. The State’s delays also take a serious toll on hospitals and health systems, as obstructing care to the medically-underserved fuels rising healthcare costs. Read the entire motion here and press release here. Press coverage includes: Associated Press, Groups say tell court Illinois too slow processing Medicaid WGN TV, Lawsuit filed in Medicaid applications processing delay Illinois Health News, Motion filed over Medicaid...

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4th Annual May Ball was a Derby Day Success!

Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Around the Council, Event, Home Page Sliders | 0 comments

4th Annual May Ball was a Derby Day Success!

Thanks to all those who supported the 4th Annual May Ball on May 5 at the stunning home of Dr. Nabeela Rasheed and Fawzia Mirza. Over 175 attendees packed the house on the most beautiful evening of the year to date, donning derby attire (read: big, bold hats) with lots of festive spring color! We even had a surprise visit from a horse and some jockeys!   Clear your calendar for Saturday, May 4, 2019 for the 5th Annual May Ball! “More now then ever we need an organization like this… With this current [presidential] administration we’ve seen attacks on access to healthcare, attacks on trans rights, attacks on women’s rights and attacks on immigration. With more people involved. it’s more essential. […] If we don’t take care of our community, no one will take care of it for us.” – Fawzia Mirza Thanks to Mystic Images Photography for photographing the event. For more photos, visit our Facebook page and coverage by Windy City...

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Stop Junk Insurance in Illinois

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in Access to health, Advocacy, Insurance | 0 comments

Stop Junk Insurance in Illinois

Quality and affordable health insurance should be available to every Illinoisan and every American citizen, full stop. Unfortunately, this notion is being challenged by pending federal regulations that could result in a large expansion of the number of short term plans offered to hardworking Illinoisans. Short term plans differ from other health insurance plans; their long lists of what is not covered leaves many consumers with expensive medical bills. Plans sold in Illinois can exclude coverage for preexisting conditions, prescription drugs, hospital room and board on a weekend, and treatment for mental and health or substance abuse disorders.

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Medicaid Matters for Seniors and Older Adults

Posted by on Apr 20, 2018 in Access to health, Medicaid | 0 comments

Medicaid Matters for Seniors and Older Adults

More than 6.9 million American seniors ages 65 and older have Medicaid coverage, and more than 8.5 million adults ages 50 to 64 are enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid is a lifeline for seniors and older Americans.

About 1 in 3 seniors live below 200 percent of the federal poverty line while the cost of nursing home care for a typical year is around $82,000. Thanks to Medicaid, about 6 in 10 nursing home residents are covered, making nursing home care more accessible and affordable.

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