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On the Docket

Everyday our advocates provide free and immediate legal assistance, one client at a time. Other times, we defend access to justice to many more people than we could possibly represent in a single year.

Legal Council for Health Justice currently has four high-impact litigation cases. Two of them, Beeks v. Bradley and Memisovski v. Maram, are federal court cases in which we represent 3.1 million Medicaid recipients in Illinois. Working with the Shriver Center, we required the State of Illinois, despite the state budget impasse, to fund billions of dollars in Medicaid services. This work has ensured that doctors, medical clinics and hospitals continue to provide medical treatment to the 3.1 million Illinoisans, including 700,000 children in low-income households.

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First do no harm

Last week’s budget address from Gov. Rauner would have people think the whole Springfield stalemate is about nothing less than the future of Illinois.

Meanwhile, the most vulnerable Illinoisans — children in low-income households, senior citizens, the disabled, victims of trauma and abuse — are being denied life-saving interventions that help them stay on the path to dignity, well-being, and self-sufficiency.

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Silver linings

Our ears were burning when Governor Bruce Rauner mentioned court orders in today’s budget address. More on that later.

But a silver lining was the announcement of support of $5M increased funding to Early Intervention (EI), the program that closes the gaps for infants and toddlers living with developmental disability and delay.

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Least we can do

Much has been written about the lead-poisoning tragedy in Flint, Michigan. But once the shock and awe are over, what happens? Longtime collaborators and leaders in lead safety, Amy Zimmerman (head of our Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children) and Professor Weinberg at Lead Safe Illinois point out that the very least we can do is to (1) match the commitment of other states, and guarantee automatic access to Early Intervention services for infants and toddlers poisoned by lead; and (2)  enforce existing state laws to prevent future generations of children from being poisoned. Read...

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Back in Court

Legal Council for Health Justice went back into to federal court this week pushing for payment to Family Case Management programs that ensure pregnant women and newborns eligible for Medicaid receive appropriate medical care.  Yates and lawyers from the Shriver Center have successfully required the State of Illinois to continue to pay Medicaid providers despite the ongoing state budget crisis pursuant to consent decrees in Beeks v. Bradley and Memisovski v. Maram. As a result, the State of Illinois has agreed to pay Family Case Management programs ensuring that they will stay in business and support maternal child health. In addition, Yates and staff attorney Shannon Ackenhausen were in federal court in M.A. v. Norwood seeking a preliminary injunction to halt reduction of in-home nursing services to children who are medically fragile and dependent on technology.  That motion is...

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At the table

Let’s say you are one of the nation’s third largest public school districts, with its fourth appointed CEO in three years. You are working in the shadow of your last CEO, who left the district in disgrace after it was discovered that she directed millions of no-bid dollars to a former employer, against a ticking time bomb of a $500 million shortfall for the current school year. Your chief in charge of special education recently resigned, and you need to replace her.

What do you do, Chicago Public Schools?

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