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Do No Harm to Illinois Health

As both Congress and the President continue to threaten the well-being of Illinoisans through cutting benefits, rolling back consumer protections, and restricting access to coverage, we must ensure protections at the state level to guarantee any attempt to restrict access to healthcare is open to public debate, oversight, and scrutiny.

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Press for Progress: International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, Legal Council is celebrating all of the historic gains to women’s coverage won through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion! With these expansive health policies, women now have greater access to maternity care, improved breast cancer care, and the guarantee that insurance companies cannot charge women more for coverage. Other gains for women’s coverage include: States that expanded Medicaid (including Illinois!) saw improved newborn outcomes, with significant decreases in infant mortality. (Newsweek, Jan. 31, 2018) Uninsured rate for women of reproductive age decreased. (Women’s Health Issues Journal, Feb. 28, 2018) Uninsured rate for women with gynecologic cancer decreased. (Gynecologic Oncology, June 2017) With lower costs, more women received mammogram screenings, improving the care and prevention of breast cancer. (Brown University, Jan. 17, 2018) Despite these gains, we also know that the fight for health justice...

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ISBE can you hear me?

(Nov. 17, 2017) Advocates held a press conference at Chicago’s Thompson Center this morning. Thirteen legal and education groups including Legal Council for Health Justice sent an open letter to the Illinois State Board of Education today, requesting an independent investigation of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Special Education program in light of investigative journalism from WBEZ revealing undisclosed budget cuts and creation of a secret manual mandating policies resulting in decreased provision of Special Education services. Read the full letter here. UPDATE (Dec. 15, 2017): One week after the resignation of CPS CEO Forrest Claypool as a result of an unrelated ethics probe, the Illinois State Board of Education announced a public inquiry will be conducted to examine Chicago Public Schools special education practices. Advocates will continue to monitor. Related links: CPS Secretly Overhauled Special Education At Students’ Expense,...

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Thank your local congressperson

Nine hardworking Congresspeople sent a letter demanding answers to charges of discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS by insurance plans. The letter was signed by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).

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Special education expose

First in a series of investigative reporting from WBEZ reveals the Chicago Public Schools overhauled special education and relied on a “secret” set of guidelines “that resulted in limiting services for special education students, services like busing, one-on-one aides, and summer school.”

Our child health policy leader Amy Zimmerman is quoted extensively. Some excerpts below. Read the entire article here.

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Excerpted from our comments submitted by policy director Carrie Chapman to the Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Graham-Cassidy Bill: If this proposal succeeds, the devastating financial impact on Illinois is clear (Avalere Health, September 20, 2017). By shifting Medicaid expansion funds and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) financial assistance into the “Market Based Health Care Block Grant Program,” Illinois will lose $8 billion dollars between 2020 and 2026 as a penalty for expanding Medicaid in our state—a lawful and fiscally wise decision for Illinois. When this block grant expires, Illinois will lose $10 billion in 2027 alone. When taken together with other reforms in the proposal, including a dangerous per-capita-cap for the traditional Medicaid program, Illinois will lose a total of $153 billion in federal funding for health care, more than all but four other states. This is a patent...

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