* I’m told this is about a $30 million a year program. So since we are a bit more than half way through the fiscal year, the providers are owed somewhere north of $15 million…
Here’s a statement from the Shriver Center on the Family Case Management court order yesterday that compels the state to make good on promises it made to providers of preventive healthcare services for pregnant women, infants and children.
Recently, this blog highlighted that the Governor spoke highly of criminal justice reform measures as being worth the initial short term investment because of the long term return on that investment for communities. Voices for Illinois Children absolutely agrees that responsible public investment up front yields high returns for investors, who are the taxpayers of this state.
These preventive healthcare services, along with so many of the services disappearing in this state, are another prime example of a short term investment that yields big returns.
While this one piece of the vital-services-puzzle will be maintained, unfortunately a court order can’t compel lawmakers and the governor to keep their promises to children and families across the board. Only a complete budget with new revenue passed by lawmakers along with a governor willing to execute it can do that.
Voices for Illinois Children
A federal judge has ordered Illinois to make payments to continue health care access for hundreds of thousands of families and support for the providers who offer it. This week’s court-ordered mandate will ensure Family Case Management providers – who have not been paid since June 2015 – are duly paid millions of dollars by the State of Illinois for the important Medicaid-funded services they provide to pregnant women, infants, and children. The Shriver Center and Legal Council for Health Justice and the Chicago firm Goldberg Kohn won a court order to compel these payments to hundreds of valued, hard-working providers, including local health departments and clinics, many of whom were on the brink of closure or had already shut-down because of non-payments.
This is a valuable victory for preserving health care access in Illinois, but it shouldn’t take a court order to force our government to keep its commitment to the communities it is meant to serve.
The Family Case Management program affects the state’s infant mortality rate and health care expenditures. It is smart preventative medicine. It saves millions of dollars in long-term health costs. We hope that these court-ordered payments will allow this critical program to continue during the budget impasse. Such a needed and cost-effective program should not languish or dissolve as a result of failure to do the basic work of governing.
Illinois needs to keep its promises and implement its policies. Illinois needs to pass a budget.
The order is here. The motion is here. More info on the program is here.