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Madigan sets Medicaid hearing in wake of US House push

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017

* Press release…

Speaker Michael J. Madigan has directed state Rep. Greg Harris, chair of the House Appropriations-Human Services Committee, to hold a hearing Thursday to determine how Medicaid cuts being pushed by the Trump Administration and congressional Republicans will affect children, families and other vulnerable residents in Illinois.

“Medicaid is one of the most significant segments of our state budget, and plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of over 2 million children and families statewide,” Madigan said. “With so much at stake for our state and our families, it’s important for legislators and the governor to understand the real cost of the cuts being proposed by President Trump and congressional Republicans.”

Madigan and Harris have scheduled a hearing of the Appropriations-Human Services Committee on Thursday, March 16 at 8 a.m. in Room 114 of the Capitol. Representatives from the Illinois Hospital Association and Illinois’ safety net hospitals, as well as Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Felicia Norwood will brief members about the proposed changes and their impact.

Changes to federal Medicaid funding could have a dramatic effect on the state budget, and to Illinois families. An estimated 1 in 4 Illinois families would be impacted by the plan backed by Trump and congressional Republicans to alter the Medicaid system by providing states with a set lump sum payment. These proposed changes could cause significant reductions to federal funding, which would force Illinois to cut critical care for struggling families and persons with disabilities, or put taxpayers on the hook for significantly higher payments in order to continue services.

Committee members will consider not only the immediate impact, but how these cuts, coupled with rising health care costs, could force deeper cuts for many years.

“The Trump administration is moving quickly to make sweeping changes that will have a deep effect on our state, our communities and our families for years to come,” Harris said. “These proposals need to be thoroughly evaluated, so lawmakers can understand how they will affect Illinois, and determine the best course of action for Illinois families.”

Gov. Rauner hasn’t commented on the US House proposal since the CBO scoring came out yesterday. He has tweeted about his new Instagram account, however.

* Related…

* Health Bill Would Add 24 Million Uninsured but Save $337 Billion, Report Says: The report foresees huge changes in Medicaid. By 2026, it said, federal Medicaid spending would be 25 percent lower under the House bill than is projected under current law, and the number of Medicaid beneficiaries would be 17 percent lower, with 14 million fewer people covered by Medicaid.

* Critics of GOP health bill get ammunition from budget score: The CBO report also undercuts a central argument that Trump and other Republicans have cited for swiftly rolling back Obama’s health care overhaul: that the health insurance markets created under the 2010 law are unstable and about to implode. The congressional experts said that largely would not be the case and the market for individual health insurance policies “would probably be stable in most areas either under current law or the (GOP) legislation.”

* No Magic in How G.O.P. Plan Lowers Premiums: It Pushes Out Older People: But the change in tax credits matters more. The combined difference in how much extra the older customer would have to pay for health insurance is enormous. The C.B.O. estimates that the price an average 64-year-old earning $26,500 would need to pay after using a subsidy would increase from $1,700 under Obamacare to $14,600 under the Republican plan.

* The GOP’s Obamacare replacement is a disaster for some of its most loyal voters: Among the counties where Trump won his biggest victories, nearly all would face deep cuts in tax credits under the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. And, in the parts of the country that would lose the most in tax credits, a majority of voters were Trump supporters… Now, take a look at the places with the highest support for Hillary Clinton in the last election. In these liberal enclaves, where Clinton won over 80 percent of the vote, many people would actually benefit from the new GOP plan. That’s because health care tends to be less expensive in urban areas, and the GOP’s tax credit would give residents in these low-cost areas more money.

* Shimkus: Men paying for prenatal care coverage like buying a cabin ‘you’re never going to use’: He compared forcing men to have a policy that includes female contraceptive and prenatal coverage to paying for a prime piece of real estate that one could never actually visit. “Why would you buy a cabin in Montana that you’re never going to use?” said Shimkus, whose expansive district covers much of Southern Illinois.

* Roskam backed Ryan health bill in committee, but now open to changes: “I want to learn more about the Medicaid piece, particularly in Illinois,” Roskam said. Asked twice later if that means he’s open to changes in the Medicaid provisions, Roskam replied “yes”… Roskam appeared less willing to make changes in response to another damaging finding in the CBO report: older Americans, particularly those over age 50 with relatively modest incomes, would be big losers under the Ryan plan.

* The GOP’s Obamacare replacement includes many Republican governors’ biggest fear — and it could doom the bill: Kasich’s main gripe with the AHCA: a radical rollback of Medicaid, the government-run health program that provides insurance primarily to pregnant women, single mothers, people with disabilities, and seniors with low incomes.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Fixer - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    1 in 4?

  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Instagram? Does he think he’s a Kardashian or something? Hope he’s ready for swimsuit season.

    Will someone attempt to explain to Rep. Shimkus the concept of insurance risk pools before he strains a muscle between his ears?

  3. - illini - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    @Wordslinger - I hate to say it but my Congressman has always refused to accept “facts” that do not conform to his preconceived and often erroneous vision of reality.

    Sound familiar to some others we can quickly think of?

  4. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    I’ll tell you, Madigan and Harris aren’t exaggerating the problem this would cause for the states. The figure I saw just yesterday was that over the next 10 years Washington would reduce the amount of Medicaid support to the states by $370 billion. Given that Illinois is one of the largest states you’re looking at a real chunk of money for a state dealing with deficits already.
    It’s inevitable that millions will lose coverage if this plan becomes law. GOP member Jason Chaffetz said that low income Americans may have to make a decision on whether to buy that IPhone or invest that money in health care. What a ridiculous comment to make.

  5. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    The Speaker has his numbers wrong there are over 3 million Illinois residents on Medicaid but the good news is that number is only 18 percent higher than Pre-ACA which trails the 28% increase nationwide.

    Some states are up 100%,%22wrapups%22:%7B%22united-states%22:%7B%7D%7D%7D&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

  6. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Sounds like Shimkus is really upset how no one invites him to visit their cabin, and this is his way of getting back at all those prudes (or women with good sense).

  7. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    Someone told the governor that Rich Miller got an Instagram account, so he had to get one too? Yes.

  8. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    “Your welfare and needs cannot be met by this facility.”
    This is one of the main reasons people are involuntarily discharged from nursing and rehab facilities, even if they have nowhere to go, they are not healthy enough to even leave, or there is no safety net to help them and their families if they are forced to return to a home not set up for long-term care.
    My mother fell into that black hole after her knee replacement surgery. Failure to identify dementia and severe post-operative cognitive disorder from the anesthesia used in the replacement operation, combined with the “theory” that knee replacements should be treated like out-patient surgeries (up and around in four days or the social worker pays you a visit) led to a four year cycle of hospitals and nursing homes and home again for a few months, only to have to repeat the vicious cycle all over again because of a UTI or pneumonia.
    At one nursing home, that had a sign priding itself on the number of patients that went home in 30 days, we came to visit her and were met by a smiling rep saying she’s ready to go home. Mom couldn’t walk, their house could not accommodate a wheelchair, and she was still sick from her UTI. But “she’s ready to go home!” because she told the doctor she was. Never mind that the family were the last people to find out. Never mind that mom had dementia. Gotta keep those 30 days Home numbers up!
    Mom passed away last year, in a nursing home, in a Medicaid bed that we are still waiting to see if she was eligible for.

  9. - Sue - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    Medicaid expansion to people who were essentially middle Class was a policy mistake and will become increasingly more expensive. If states want to give this benefit to their residents then the states should incur the expense as opposed to the feds

  10. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Ok, Rep. Shimkus, how do you feel about women paying for prostate cancer treatment? Testicular cancer treatment? Any other maladies that attack only male body parts? The money you save from being in a bigger risk pool, you can spend on an insurance 101 class.

  11. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    Why do some many Republicans manage to say such absurd stuff? And why do they seem so inhumane?

  12. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 2:56 pm:

    Sue: you think 133-138% % of the Federal Poverty Line is “essentially middle class”? 125% FPL for a family of 4 is $30,750. IL median income is $57,444.

    Second, what is a country with all this wealth for? Just allowing those who have the most already to get even more? Don’t understand where you are coming from, but would be grateful for your explanation since I see you comments on posts and it makes me wonder.

  13. - Sue - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    This entire program has been a wealth transfer where those buying exchange coverage without subsidies were overpaying to subsidize other insured folks and to boot the policies were bloated with benefits most sane people would never buy but for the mandates. When premiums went sky high the Dems answer was so what- the subsidies would also go up and screw anyone paying the full monte. The Medicaid expansion was similarly ill advised as it bloated the number of people on the program initially at federal expense and later to be paid in part by state taxpayers- here in Illinois the State would never be able to bare the expense given the State’s other issues. Absent the Republicans ability to reform the ACA - Obamacare will fold on its own within a few years

  14. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    Its great to know that’s its ‘madigan’ to the rescue. He and about five governors have driven this state nearly to bankruptcy and he is going to salvage medicaid? With his track record at fixing things, I would give it about five years to go belly up if he had any influence in the Process.

  15. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    I am encouraged by some signals from the Senate that this horrible legislation may not pass. So many people are threatened with loss of coverage that enough Republicans may not vote for it.

    What first-world country is fighting tooth and nail to take health insurance away from so many people? It’s embarrassing. I offer my unsolicited apology: Dear first world countries, I apologize for America’s heartlessness.

  16. - Try-4-Truth - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===== Sue - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    This entire program has been a wealth transfer where those buying exchange coverage without subsidies were overpaying to subsidize other insured folks and to boot the policies were bloated with benefits most sane people would never buy but for the mandates. When premiums went sky high the Dems answer was so what- the subsidies would also go up and screw anyone paying the full monte. The Medicaid expansion was similarly ill advised as it bloated the number of people on the program initially at federal expense and later to be paid in part by state taxpayers- here in Illinois the State would never be able to bare the expense given the State’s other issues. Absent the Republicans ability to reform the ACA - Obamacare will fold on its own within a few years======

    Ummm, no.

    The more people in an insurance market, the cheaper it is. ONe point I don’t think anyone understands is that insurance (and health care in general) is (are) an inelastic market. Costs are not driven by normal market activities. Much like electricity, water, natural gas, ect… these are things that are used in normal quantities no matter the economic conditions of the broader market. Every other inelastic market is subsidized and regulated. Why not health care?

    Sue, do you have an answer for that?

  17. - illini - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    @Anon221 - your experience could be echoed and confirmed by thousands of other families. This is not as it should be but it seems to be the unfortunate reality.

    I do feel very fortunate in that neither of my parents had to be subjected to the nightmare that you and your Mom went through and we are far from being wealthy enough that we were unconcerned about the cost, but we made it work.

    My cousin is going through that exact nightmare now with his Dad. Without going into all the pertinent details, he just found out that his 85 year old Dad was being sent home Friday to a house that can not accommodate his needs and without adequate follow up care and supervision - and he has excellent insurance. Yet he is being kicked out from the rehab facility he has been in for a month.

  18. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 4:44 pm:

    Why is there no discussion about the healthcare/drug industry ripoffs?
    Costs are exploding due to the ridiculous outsized profit margins of the “free market” pharmaceutical industry with their government-granted patent monopolies defended in our government-funded court system, and their government-funded basic research, and the health insurance industry with their secret cost lists and overpaid executives.

  19. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 4:58 pm:

    Want to reduce healthcare costs?
    Put an end to direct-to-consumer advertising. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only industrialized countries in the world that even allow it.
    Thanks to pharmaceutical company and device manufacturer ad campaigns Americans are over-treated and over-medicated, which ain’t so good for your health.
    THAT’s where all the money’s going.

  20. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 7:41 pm:

    Noticed that the Fox/Breitbart types are calling this millionaire’s tax cut bill Ryancare.

    Apparently, there’s something Trump doesn’t want his name on.

  21. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 7:58 pm:

    I have a son utilizing that ACA. bronze plan. $10,000 Deductible. Now that’s what I call health care.

  22. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 14, 17 @ 7:59 pm:

    Tiny. I concur.

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