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Pritzker signs EO to help end HIV epidemic

Friday, Feb 1, 2019

* I’m told by Team Pritzker that this will carry no additional appropriated costs. They’re simply spending money that Gov. Rauner didn’t spend, the administration claims.

…Adding… From the governor’s office..

FYI— There is a $1.2 million appropriation this year, as has been the case in the past. In previous years, the spending fell short of the appropriation. In FY17, it was roughly $967K in spending and FY18 was $662K. In FY16, there was no funding appropriated. Our goal is to make sure that the full appropriation is used this year for this effort.

And the administration points out that the more important point is about data sharing to keep people healthy…

Surrounded by health care providers and HIV prevention advocates at the Winnebago County Health Department, Governor JB Pritzker took executive action strengthening the state’s commitment to ending the HIV epidemic that has affected nearly 40,000 Illinois residents.

“While 1,375 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2017 alone and unacceptable health disparities in communities of color continue, over the past few years we’ve seen HIV prevention funding dry up, HIV testing rates go down, and HIV prevention and treatment agencies lay off staff,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Now is not the time to back down from this fight. Now is the time to double down. This executive order defines the state’s commitment to the HIV epidemic and serves as a first step in ensuring the state is good partner in this fight.”

Over the last four years, the State of Illinois failed to partner fully with organizations and advocates that are working to end the HIV epidemic. When there was no state budget, HIV prevention and care agencies across the state laid off staff. This lack of investment came a time when health disparities in HIV are increasing.

With today’s executive order, the state will change course and take advantage of opportunities to improve treatment. With Medicaid providing health insurance for 23,748 Illinoisans living with HIV in FY17, the state-run program is the largest payer for HIV care in the state and a vital partner in ending the HIV epidemic.

Committing to ending the HIV epidemic, Gov. Pritzker signed Executive Order 2019-08, which will:

    Invest in Programs and Services to End the Epidemic. Investments will include prevention measures the Rauner administration had discontinued, including funding for increased HIV testing, PrEP, the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act and other public health initiatives. Additionally, people living with HIV along with their healthcare providers will be invested and supported in achieving undetectable viral loads.

    Monitor Viral Load Metrics. The Department of Public Health and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, in conjunction with the contracted Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MMCOs), shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this Executive Order, deliver a report to the Governor containing a plan for the MMCOs to share data with the State in accordance with all laws and regulations governing health privacy, including a viral load metric, so that the State can monitor progress to ensure Illinoisans living with HIV have access to the healthcare they need to keep their viral loads at zero.

“The AIDS Foundation is proud to see the state of Illinois taking critical steps to end the HIV epidemic,” said John Peller, president of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. “With a partner like Gov. Pritzker in the governor’s office, Illinois can eliminate health disparities and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV by holding Medicaid accountable for tracking and reporting viral suppression.”

“We welcome Governor Pritzker to the Winnebago County Health Department and the focus of his administration on both the prevention and treatment of HIV infection,” said Dr. Sandra Martell, administrator of the Winnebago County Health Department. “Through this public and private partnership, we can get to zero in Illinois.”

“With HIV affecting so many communities across the state, I’m glad that Gov. Pritzker is combating this epidemic head-on and ensuring Illinoisans living with HIV have access to the health care they depend on,” said Rep. Maurice West (D-67th). “While the state hasn’t always been a good partner, the governor is turning the page and writing a new future when it comes to ending the HIV epidemic once and for all.”

“I thank Gov. Pritzker for coming to Rockford during his first week in office and commend his commitment to partnering with localities to keep our residents healthy,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “Cities and counties across Illinois have experienced a painful stretch of disinvestment from the state, but Gov. Pritzker has already shown he’s a different type of leader that cares about every region of the state.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Eastside - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    That is a nice way to phrase it but it will have additional costs. If the previous Administration did not plan on spending the appropriaiton then it shows up as a negative number in the “unspent” or “lapsed” appropriation category. If you are now spending it, it should reduce that negative adjustment for unspent approps. But it was a creative way to qualify it.

  2. - Sue - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Is this the most pressing problem confronting the state? JB is turning into a media HOG. Not to minimize the AIDS problem but spending a million or so dollars is akin to peeing in the ocean. Is this what we should be expecting from JB’s top flight hires😂😂

  3. - Baloneymous - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    Sue, this is called low hanging fruit. You and Rauner should have tried some more often. It’s delicious and easy.

  4. - Barrington - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    Excellent! Rauner not spending this money as intended is just another of his mean spirited inactions. I hope Gov. Pritzker gets lots of good PR for this.

  5. - Perrid - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    Sue, is your problem that JB is not spending MORE money, or is it that he had a press conference to go along with it? Is he only allowed press conferences on initiatives that spend $5 million? 10?

  6. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Not a big fan of these PR EO’s.

    Not an additive policy wise in my opinion, but
    this has become the standard new gov opening practice.

    So far the only major JB downside is the pay supplement.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Thankfully we don’t see much on AIDS anymore, the news of deaths, I imagine because of newer drugs that have made AIDS manageable and not fatal.

    Still, this is great. Rauner decimated social services, using the sickest and most vulnerable as hostage pawns to try to rip apart unions and collective bargaining. Many right wingers want to repeal the ACA and Medicaid expansion. Good on JB for taking action.

  8. - Christopher - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    Thank you Governor Pritzker, for being a Governor for all of the people of Illinois, including those affected with HIV.

  9. - jim - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    this will put JB in solid with the LGBT crowd.
    while rauer was content to let this epidemic rage and many, many thousands of people die each year, J.B. is showing his superior judgment and compassion

  10. - njt - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===Not to minimize the AIDS problem but spending a million or so dollars is akin to peeing in the ocean.===

    I suppose we could all just do nothing and hope the disease goes away. I wonder if any states have tried that before?

  11. - Pundent - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 1:15 pm:

    = Is this the most pressing problem confronting the state? JB is turning into a media HOG.=

    When you’re not singularly focused on destroying unions you can solve problems big and small.

  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    ===Is this the most pressing problem===

    If you have HIV, it could very well be.

  13. - don the legend - Friday, Feb 1, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===Is this the most pressing problem confronting the state?===

    After four years of “Governor I’m not in charge”, Sue must be amazed that the most pressing problems and those not most pressing problems can be addressed at the same time.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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