Capitol Police remove a man from a sit-in to protest proposed Medicaid cuts outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Thursday. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Illinois stands to lose $40 billion in Medicaid cuts: hospital group

SHARE Illinois stands to lose $40 billion in Medicaid cuts: hospital group
SHARE Illinois stands to lose $40 billion in Medicaid cuts: hospital group

As the U.S. Senate considers legislation (“Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”) to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and make devastating cuts to Medicaid, the Illinois Health and Hospital Association has serious concerns about the harm to patients, hospitals, the health care delivery system as well as our state budget and economy.This bill is even more damaging than the House-passed American Health Care Act.

More than a million Illinoisans have coverage through the ACA, including 650,000 under Medicaid expansion.Hundreds of thousands of low-income working people in the state would lose coverage, and Illinois would lose at least $40 billion in federal Medicaid funding over 10 years under the Senate bill.

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IHA also strongly opposes changing Medicaid to a capped funding model, which would cut federal funding and harm health care for all Illinoisans.Illinois already ranks 50th in the country in federal funding support per Medicaid beneficiary.Capped funding would lock Illinois into low,insufficient federal funding levels and shift costs to the state.

Illinois cannot absorb additional financial burdens that would be imposed on the state. It would be forced to reduce eligibility, covered services and payments to providers.The magnitude of these cuts and changes to Medicaid is staggering.

We urge the Senate to reject its current plan and the members of the Illinois House to oppose it if it passes the Senate.There is a great deal at stake for the health and well-being of the people of Illinois.

A.J. Wilhelmi

Presidentand CEO, Illinois Health and Hospital Association

Take a stand in protecting your privacy

Nearly everything we do in today’s digital world can leave behind a trail of information — things like your name, address, social security number and even your precise physical movements throughout the day. This information is captured, mined and sometimes exploited, often without your knowledge.

A study conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence found that 72 percent of victim service programs reported victims who were tracked through a stalking app installed on a mobile phone or a stand-alone GPS device. This directly impacts Illinois citizens.

Fortunately, the Illinois House has a chance to protect our privacy this month. House Bill 3449 is common-sense legislation. It mandates that companies that want to track your movements through apps or websites must, in simple terms, ask for your permission the first time — not bury it in long privacy policies.

The opposition to this bill comes from those who financially benefit from your information, and many of them have deep pockets to keep their best interests intact even though 94 percent of registered Illinois voters disapprove of having their personal information collected, shared or sold. Please ask your state representative to help protect your rights.

Melissa Banerjee

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

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