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This just in… Appellate court rules against governor

Friday, Sep 26, 2008

* 10:42 am - The Illinois appellate court has ruled against Blagojevich administration. The justices ruled the governor cannot expand, fund and operate a state healthcare program without General Assembly approval.

Read the full decision here. More in a bit. Some background can be found here.

* 11:05 am - From the opinion’s conclusion…

Ultimately, we hold, in accordance with the trial court, that, to receive medical assitance under [Medicaid], a would-be recipient must qualify under the limited eligibility requirements of TANF. As the FamilyCare Program admittedly does not limit itself in this regard, defendants’ operation of it is not proper under the statutory law upon which it relies.

The governor issued a “Peremptory Rule” back in April attempting to comply with the trial judge’s original decision, but that was tossed out as well.

* 11:09 am - This part could be very important to future cases. The appellate justices seemed to back the notion that the legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules is a legitimate check on the governor’s power, which is something the governor has forcefully denied…

Such a decision [to include permanent FamilyCare recipients in the “temporary” TANF program] is for the legislature… not for the executive defendants. […]

This, in addition to the fact that both JCAR and the Illinois Secretary of State have already twice suspended and prohibited defendants’ Emergency and Permanent Rules creating the FamilyCare program, raises severe concers - ones we find are more than sufficient to demonstrate, on a prima facie basis, that plaintiffs have raised a fair question concerning their rights as taxpayers…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 10:49 am:

    On to the Supremes!

  2. - Dan S. a Voter and Cubs Fan - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 10:51 am:

    Is there anything that Blagoof touches that does not blow up in his face? Indict or Impeach, soon.

  3. - Fan of the Game - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 10:53 am:

    Long live JCAR!

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:05 am:

    Your link to Caro’s website isn’t working (at least for me). Anyone else having the same problem?

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:07 am:

    Obviously, the justices did not matriculate at Pepperdine Law.

  6. - GoBearsss - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:11 am:

    “The justices ruled the governor cannot expand, fund and operate a state healthcare program without General Assembly approval.”

    I think that would be an inaccurate description of the ruling. I think the administration had always maintained that they already had General Assembly approval (and still do), under the statutes that they referenced.

    The expansion was done under authority of the TANF code. What the courts said was that the FamilyCare expansion did not meet all the eligibility requirements of TANF, so it wasn’t meeting all the requirements of existing law.

    To put it simply - if they added an employment requirement to Family Care from 200%-400% FPL, they could implement the program.

    Generally, its a silly requirement, because how are you making 200%-400% FPL without being employed anyway?

  7. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:27 am:

    Blago has used JCAR when it benefits him (right One of 35?) and has also slammed it when it didn’t benefit him. You can’t have it both ways.

  8. - 2ConfusedCrew - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:28 am:

    Guess the JCAR amendment WAS a good idea
    GoBearsss do you have to sit on SlickWillie’s lap so he can use your fingers to type that nonsense?

    Oh I know you really “won” this case!

  9. - Cassandra - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:46 am:

    Well, this isn’t good news for the million or so Illinois citizens who lack affordable health insurance, even though only a portion of them would have been affected.

    The Democrats have so failed in Illinois in the area of universal health care. Perhaps the Republicans, who claim to be the party of hardworking Americans, could begin redeeming themselves by taking up this fight. An awful lot of those hardworking Americans (the ones who aren’t government employees of course) are one illness away from bankruptcy here in Illinois.

  10. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:50 am:

    ==one illness away from bankruptcy here in Illinois==

    The recent bankruptcy law change means you can’t include medical bills anymore. People are stuck with them for life now. I wouldn’t be waiting around for the GOP to expand health care….

  11. - Michel - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    Gobearsss is actually right if you take the time to read the decision. Why the gov’s people would overlook this in the implementation who knows? Sloppy legal team maybe….regardless too many people don’t have access to health care so its disturbing to see people excited about a ruling against the governor at the cost of providing people services they need.

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 11:56 am:

    How could a program that was never funded by the General Assembly and would never have received Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government ever have been “good news” for Illinois residents without health insurance? Particularly given the fact that the existing Medicaid program isn’t paying its bills on time and fewer providers are accepting it?

  13. - GoBearsss - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:05 pm:

    JCAR amendment was a good idea in two people’s minds, “2″. Yours and your boss’s.

    Keep up the good fight, though. That anti-healthcare stance is a real winner.

  14. - Secret Square - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:05 pm:

    Some of you are missing the point here. Of course, providing healthcare to the uninsured is a good thing. But is doing a good thing sufficient justification for the governor to make law ON HIS OWN, and spend state money on his own, without legislative approval? If that’s the case, why bother having a legislature at all?

  15. - GoBearsss - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:07 pm:

    Again, secret square - the law already existed. They were attempting to use the authority granted to them under existing statutes.

  16. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    GoBearsss, you neglect to mention that RRB signed JCAR’s increased powers into law. Then he claimed JCAR had no such increased powers.

  17. - Wigand - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:10 pm:

    They knew damn well what they were doing, that’s the problem. This administration will simply not let the law or the process stand in the way of a cheap press stunt.

    All they did was get the hopes up for people who are now left in the lurch. Exactly as the Gov’s were explicitly warned that they were doing.

    Shameless and self-serving. What else is new?

  18. - Snidely Whiplash - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:12 pm:

    “This part could be very important to future cases. The appellate justices seemed to back the notion that the legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules is a legitimate check on the governor’s power, which is something the governor has forcefully denied…”

    He will rework it with a slightly different tack and then wait for the court to decide the matter in another case, and on a division of powers question. In other words, I think he’ll likely be able to get away with it until his term ends or he is sent packing, whichever comes first.

  19. - GoBearsss - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:15 pm:

    Didn’t neglect to mention - it wasn’t part of the lawsuit

  20. - Wigand - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:22 pm:


    They were specifically told that they didn’t have the statutory authority. They didn’t care. They played fast and loose with people’s future. They rolled the dice. They lost. Again.

  21. - Little Egypt - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:24 pm:

    An “UP” day for Dudley. Watch out for that dreaded Friday 5 p.m. press release. He has so much cover this week, it may even be more than one press release.

  22. - BIG R.PH. - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 12:36 pm:

    So let me get this straight.

    A Medicaid recipient walks into my pharmacy last year with a valid card. I fill the prescription, file the claim immediately, it is adjudicated and the patient pays either $0/$3.

    At this point, I am on the hook for about $50 worth of product.

    The State pays the claim in about 90+ days.

    90+ days later they take the money back. Then they say they will pay the claim.

    Now the court says they can’t pay the claim.

    Why should I as a provider be on the hook for this claim that was legally adjudicated by a State agency?

    These guys couldn’t run a lemonade stand!!

  23. - AsAMom - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 1:22 pm:

    One of the most astonishing lines in the opinion is on pg 16-17: ” Moreover, defendants admitted to the trial court that, … cannot identify program participants, provide them with notice, or monitor payments; they do not even know (or at least have refused to reveal) where the premiums they have collected are kept and how much remains.”

  24. - 2ConfusedCrew - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    Capt. Fax
    Please don’t expect the we don’t know/we don’t care administration to connect the dots between a bill they signed and their fantasy land belief that laws are to be ignored.
    That’ like saying don’t put your name on stuff and buy the Blagoof Open Road TOlling signs
    You are truly confused
    GoBearss that sounded like a yes on the lap dance with SlickWillie question

  25. - Huckleberry - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 2:24 pm:

    Does this mean that we don’t have to deal with the JCAR rider language or that all those bills that were held up becasue of the language will now sprout legs.

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 2:24 pm:


  27. - Captain America - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 2:24 pm:

    A victory for common sense,common law and “process.” A governor proposes and the legislature disposes.

    Notwithstnding his good intentions, clearly Pinnochio has acted extraconstitutionally and exceede the authority of his office.

    Sic semper tyrannis. Thus always to tyrants… and fools!

    Unfortunately for Pinnochio, his legal problems have just begun. And now the deluge!!!

  28. - Karen Silkwood - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 2:39 pm:

    OK, I’ve read the opinion now and the 11:11 GoBears comment claiming mischaracterization seems to be a mischaracterization.

    Pg. 8 of the opinion. First full paragrah is devoted entirely to the court addressing the administration’s claim that the only thing being challenged here is the 200-400 percent FPL expansion.

    to quote the appellate court:
    “We find this to be an incorrect mischaracterization of plaintiffs’ consistent position in this matter. … it is clear to us that plaintiffs challenged, and continue to challenge, the entire FamilyCare Program as a whole.”

    The program was challenged as a whole, enjoined in whole and that action was upheld in whole.

  29. - tiredofwaiting - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 3:03 pm:

    Someone in his close circle of friends( if anyone is still willing to identify themselves with him) needs to tell him what he has to hear, not what he wants to hear. He’s through.

  30. - Crystal Clear - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 3:16 pm:

    BIG R.PH. is dead on. The biggest problem, among many, with this administration is its total lack of ability to administer and govern anything. The Governor could have won this court case, but the end game is, that it is not really helping the people who need the help. Because of the inept operation of state government and its programs, those who provide these services are simply going to stop.

  31. - some former legislative intern - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 5:29 pm:

    I totally agree with R.P.H. and CClear. He hired Chicago hacks, people whose only ability lies in being able to knock on doors, raise money or placate some constituency. Not that everyone from Chicago is inept. By and large, however, they were the wrong people. I could name names, but I won’t.

    I never have felt that Blago had a sincere desire to increase medical coverage. If he did, he would have actually worked with everybody to get a bill passed. All he wanted was the image of the good guy fighting the big bad entrenched interests. The only problem is, no one bought the spin or the image, he further damaged relationships with lawmakers, and people that thought they would get health coverage now won’t have it.

    Blago and crew seem to have no understanding that their actions have real effects for real people. Having worked down there, I understand that sometimes you forget that in Springfield, but with normal staffers something happens to quickly bring you back to reality. That never seems to happen with this administration.

  32. - 4% - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 5:44 pm:

    This is one more in a long line of Blagojevich bluster…all talk and no walk.

    * Free books for kids
    * Drugs from Canada
    * Ban violent video games

    You get the point. He doesn’t care about the result - only getting the headline. Its not his money to spend on lawsuits.

  33. - Frank Booth - Friday, Sep 26, 08 @ 6:13 pm:

    Former intern,
    I’ll disagree with you on one point only.
    someone bought the spin.

  34. - Lotta Liaison - Saturday, Sep 27, 08 @ 7:22 pm:

    Hey GoBearsss, the anti-constitution stance is a good one too. You’re right, this archaic provision of the law exists but was never intended to grant the exec branch to engage in a massive expansion of healthcare. This was the right ruling by the court. To any rational Governor, it’s a warning call that you can’t do things without express authority from the legislature. With this Governor, I’m not sure.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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