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In ACA, majority rules

Statement from executive director Tom Yates, on the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision.

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Charter school health policy report

Child health advocacy report analyzes school health policies in schools across the state of Illinois.

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It’s Time for Illinois to Smarten Up

Here’s a remarkably stupid bit of Illinois law that has annoyed and incensed us for about 20 years: school principals across the state must be given the names of HIV-positive students in their schools.  Furthermore, principals must disclose the names of those students to school superintendents.  And principals may identify those students to school nurses, teachers, and certain other staff who have a “need to know.” Why oh why does some school superintendent need to know that 11-year-old Johnny has HIV?  Why does his algebra teacher?  Considering that we know with absolute scientific certainty that HIV is not transmitted through daily contact at school, why does anyone in a school need to know? Why is Illinois the only state in the union that requires the names of HIV-positive students be turned over to school administrators? This idiotic law has long been defended but...

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Hip Hooray for Medicaid 1115 Waivers!

So dig this: as of January 1, 2013, certain people in Illinois will be able to get Medicaid without having to be “categorically eligible” (blind, disabled, pregnant, etc).  Why?  Because the feds just approved Illinois’s request for an 1115 Medicaid waiver. This fancy new Medicaid is called CountyCare, because it only covers medical services delivered through the Cook County Health & Hospital System and community providers who have agreed to be part of that network.   So who gets this Medicaid?  Well, here’s who. You are eligible for CountyCare if: You live in Cook County You’re between the ages of 19 and 64 Your income is at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level You’re not eligible for “regular” Medicaid (blind, disabled, pregnant, etc) You’re a US citizen of you’re a legal immigrant for at least five years You...

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ObamaCare is Good for People with HIV

Yeah, yeah, we know the term “ObamaCare” is often used to denigrate the Affordable Care Act, which the President signed into law on March 23, 2010.  But since Mr. Obama himself recently said he doesn’t mind the term — since it suggests that he cares about the health insurance needs of Americans — we’re going to use it, too.  The Affordable Care Act is one heck of a big piece legislation.  Understanding all of its intricacies is beyond most mortals.  But the nearly-immortal brainiacs at HIV Health Reform have as a good a handle on the law as anybody.   And they’ve just put out a fact sheet entitled, “Six Ways the Affordable Care Act Will Help People with HIV.”  Here’s perhaps our favorite of the six: 4. Private health insurance companies will have to play by the new rules. The health...

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What’s In It For You?

By now you’ve probably read a few new stories, several blog posts, many Facebook rants and a bazillion Twitter tweets about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.  We’re not going to add to the blogo-spew.  We’re just going to point you to a nifty little online tool that the Washington Post devised to help you figure how the Act might affect your personal decisions regarding your future health insurance. You just answer a few questions anonymously — Do you have health insurance?  How many people are in your household? —  and out pops a useful little explanation of how your options now compare to your options in 2014 (when the Affordable Care Act goes fully into effect).  Pretty nifty, we think.  Just click here and try it for...

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