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Afternoon roundup

Monday, May 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Some folks who were eligible for Medicaid during the pandemic are no longer eligible because they have jobs again and can get their own insurance. So, judging the success of this effort by raw numbers alone will be difficult. Still, this is a huge test of how well the Pritzker administration can govern…

As the COVID-19 pandemic policy of pausing annual Medicaid renewals for customers comes to an end, the Pritzker administration is committed to protect coverage for eligible Illinois Medicaid customers, as annual eligibility verifications, or redeterminations, resume in Illinois. The first week of May is a critical time, as the first round of customers to go through the resumed renewal process will be receiving time-sensitive redetermination notices in the mail.

In Illinois, there will not be a “coverage cliff,” where everyone loses coverage at one time. Rather, redeterminations will happen on a rolling basis through mid-2024. Everybody’s due date is different, and all Illinois Medicaid customers will have a chance to go through the redetermination process.

“My administration is committed to making this renewal and redetermination process as smooth and efficient as possible, so that every Illinoisan knows the healthcare options that are available to them,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We’ve been preparing for this moment for many months now, from increasing staffing to our widespread Ready to Renew marketing campaign. And we are collaborating with community health centers, local organizations, and public health partners to deliver resources for Illinois residents that will be most impacted by the restart of the Medicaid redetermination process.” […]

In the month of June, approximately 113,600 cases in Illinois are up for renewal. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), which administers the Illinois Medicaid program, has conducted an ex parte screening on all cases using electronic data sources and known information to determine the customer’s continued eligibility. Thanks to robust preparations and enhanced data connections, HFS was able to automatically renew 51% of Medicaid customers due in June. […]

Customers who do not respond or are no longer eligible lose their Medicaid coverage a month after their due date. Anyone who is no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage will be notified and will receive information about how to enroll in alternative coverage.

* ComEd 4 jury deliberation update from the Tribune

Shortly after resuming talks Monday, the jury sent a note asking the court to “clarify a possible discrepancy with the use of conjunctions and/or” in the indictment and instructions. It was a nearly identical question sent by the jury in the sexual abuse trial last year of R. Kelly, which was also in front of Leinenweber.

“This is precisely the same issue I had with the Kelly case” the judge said. The problem is the indictment is conjunctive, using the word “and” while describing the probable cause for the various elements of the bribery counts, while the instructions use the word “or.”

The judge said he would respond the same way he did in the Kelly case, which is to follow the instructions.

The Kelly jury later acquitted Kelly and his two co-defendants of the conspiracy counts that contained the confusing language.

Defense attorney Patrick Cotter objected on behalf of all ComEd Four defendants, saying “we believe the instructions constitute an improper amendment of the indictment” that lessens the government’s burden of proof.

Leinenweber overruled the objection, but said, “I don’t blame you at all for raising that point.”

* April numbers were up year over year, but the rest of the year was better. WTTW

The number of shootings and homicides in Chicago are each down more than 10% through the first four months of 2023 compared to the same time last year, according to police department data.

There have been 166 homicides recorded in the city year-to-date, according to the Chicago Police Department. That’s fewer than the same time periods in both 2022 and 2021, but higher than the 156 homicides recorded through the end of April in 2020. […]

According to CPD data, vehicular hijackings are down more than 25% this year compared to last, while violent crime on the CTA is down 6% year-to-date.

* Unreal

[Cook County state’s attorney’s office’ chief data officer, Matthew Saniie] told the Tribune that prosecutors get digital files from more than 100 municipalities, many of which use wildly different systems. The county maintains one computer that runs Windows 2000 — a technology more than two decades old — because prosecutors still receive files that can only be played on that operating system, he said.

As we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, local public health departments and hospitals were using fax machines to report their data.

* Full video is here. The lack of bollards causes very real dangers…


While the rate at which murders are solved or “cleared” has been declining for decades, it has now dropped to slightly below 50% in 2020 - a new historic low. And several big cities, including Chicago, have seen the number of murder cases resulting in at least one arrest dip into the low to mid-30% range.

“We saw a sharp drop in the national clearance rate in 2020,” says Prof. Philip Cook, a public policy researcher and professor emeritus at Duke University and the University of Chicago Urban Labs who has been studying clearance rates for decades. “It reached close to 50% at that time nationwide, which was the lowest ever recorded by the FBI. And it hasn’t come up that much since then.”

That makes the U.S. among the worst at solving murders in the industrialized world. Germany, for example, consistently clears well over 90% of its murders.

While reasons behind the drop are multi-faceted, Cook and other experts warn that more people getting away with murder in the the U.S. is driving a kind of doom loop of mutual mistrust: low murder clearance rates impede future investigations which in turn potentially drive up killings in some communities where a lack of arrests undermines deterrence and sends a message that the police will not or cannot protect them.

…Adding… People driving back to Springfield today from points south should check ahead

A portion of Interstate 55 is shut down in both directions Monday afternoon after a dust storm caused a “large crash” in south-central Illinois.

Illinois State Police said a crash involving multiple vehicles happened about 11:40 a.m. from milepost 62 to 80 in Montgomery County.

The National Weather Service said on Twitter that visibility in the area was poor after a “combination of newly plowed fields and gusty northwest winds” generated a dust storm.

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - Dotnonymous - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    “I don’t blame you at all for raising that point.”

    …for potential appeal.

  2. - Roadrager - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==The county maintains one computer that runs Windows 2000 — a technology more than two decades old — because prosecutors still receive files that can only be played on that operating system, he said.==

    Twas not so long ago that Dorothy Brown was running a county office on carbon paper.

    Too many jurisdictions, too few universal standards.

  3. - Stormsw7706 - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 2:32 pm:

    A low to mid 30 percent clearance rate for murders is pretty shocking as well as pretty abysmal. Chicago Police clearly need a drastic shakeup. I have to wonder if their slow walking of law enforcement even extends into the detectives bureau. Johnson talked about expanding by 200 detectives. This is clearly needed. 30 percent success rates would get you fired fast in virtually any arena. What a stunning abuse of taxpayer funding.

  4. - Big Tent - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 2:39 pm:

    So….just under half of current Medicaid recipients will have to run the gauntlet of Re-determination to maintain benefits, while thousands of undocumented aliens will continue to bask in the sunshine of nearly $1 billion of unfettered medical benefits with no requirement of need, and the lack of 50% Federal reimbursement, all at the total expense of Illinois taxpayers.
    Elections do have consequences indeed….

  5. - Mayo Sandwich - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    === Among the 69% who said things were going either pretty or very badly, dim views of the nation’s economic conditions were a top driver.===
    Only 5% inflation and a very high employment rate. What’s not to like?

  6. - JoeMaddon - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    **with no requirement of need**

    You know that this is entirely false, right?

    Those that are undocumented also have to prove their eligibility, including the same income limits as the ACA adult population.

    But hey - lets not let facts get in the way.

  7. - jimbo26 - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    Be careful if you are driving ANY north or southbound road as the wind is blowing major dust storms. South of Springfield on 55., Numerous emergency personnel have responded to a significant vehicular pileup occurring in the southern region of Springfield, Illinois. The incident has taken place on Interstate 55, between Mile Marker 72 and 80; according to first responders they have indicated that approximately 100 vehicles had been involved, and several individuals have suffered severe to critical injuries, with multiple medical helicopters have been requested.

  8. - Lurker - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 3:26 pm:

    I’ve never seen so many emergency vehicles going to one place. The hospitals in Springfield canceled all non-emergency surgeries. A total sad mess.

  9. - cermak_rd - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 3:43 pm:

    I wonder on the clearance rates if they police always relied on the implicit threat of BS arrests (or worse) to get witnesses to testify or the implicit threat of harm to get people to confess. Now that those tactics are not as likely to be successful they have a low clearance rate because all those years they relied on that dominance to get people to comply also left a really bad opinion of the police in the areas with high homicide rates.

  10. - Amalia - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 4:03 pm:

    all the good thoughts to Terri Hemmert and her pals. terrifying.

  11. - Just a guy - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 6:24 pm:

    “- cermak_rd - Monday, May 1, 23 @ 3:43 pm:

    I wonder on the clearance rates if they police always relied on the implicit threat of BS arrests (or worse) to get witnesses to testify or the implicit threat of harm to get people to confess. Now that those tactics are not as likely to be successful they have a low clearance rate because all those years they relied on that dominance to get people to comply also left a really bad opinion of the police in the areas with high homicide rates.”

    I’m sure that certainly has something to do with. So does the “don’t snitch” mentality, as well as the unfortunate reality that because many of these murders are gang/drug related, it’s a vicious cycle of revenge that also entails not sharing any information with outsiders/police. Unfortunately, the citizens that live in many of these areas are caught in between a rock and a hard place - say something and risk retaliation/retribution from those involved in the neighborhood, or don’t say anything and see the cycle perpetuated again and again. There are so many layers to this, and all of them are so sad.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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