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Everybody knew and nobody objected to the final product

Friday, Jun 30, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Brenden Moore

In other budget-related news, [Deputy Gov. Andy Manar] defended the Pritzker administration’s decision to close enrollment in a program that provides health care to mostly undocumented immigrants.

Starting July 1, adults eligible for the program between the ages of 42 and 64 will not be able to sign up.

It comes as the administration seeks to cut costs of the program, which were projected to skyrocket to $1.1 billion with no action. Pritzker initially proposed $220 million for the program and lawmakers later allocated $550 million towards it in the budget that was signed earlier this month.

A separate bill gave Pritzker emergency rulemaking authority to control the program’s costs.

“The action that the governor took — filing emergency rules — aligns the costs of the program with the money that the legislature provided to pay for it,” Manar said. “And that’s something that the governor has consistently done throughout his first term, and that’s why we have our fifth balanced budget in a row.” [Emphasis added.]

* The Healthy Illinois Campaign issued a press release applauding that very same state budget after it passed in late May

May 26, 2023

HEALTHY IL APPLAUDS ILLINOIS FOR

PROTECTING HEALTHCARE FOR 50,000 IMMIGRANTS AGES 42+ AND

CALLS ON LEADERS TO EXPAND HEALTH COVERAGE FOR ALL

The Healthy Illinois Campaign believes that healthcare is a human right and will continue to work with our elected leaders until everyone is covered, regardless of age and regardless of immigration status.

We thank the Illinois General Assembly for defending and continuing coverage for state residents ages 42+. More than 50,000 Illinois immigrants will continue to receive life-changing and life-saving care. Safety-net healthcare providers will continue to be compensated for the care they provide. Our families and communities will be safer and healthier and our healthcare system will be stronger and more stable because Illinois continues to cover low-income residents.

I added that emphasis to highlight that the Healthy Illinois Campaign had to have known exactly what was about to happen because at the time more than 63,000 people were covered under that healthcare program, according to the governor’s office. So, there seemed to be no confusion about what the budget would pay for. The people who were already receiving coverage would continue to receive coverage. I, and most other folks figured that settled the matter, particularly since no Latino legislators voted against the bill to give the governor authority to impose those emergency rules, and groups like the Healthy Illinois Campaign did not file any witness slips in opposition.

* But as soon as the governor filed emergency rules capping enrollment to comply with state budget parameters, the Healthy Illinois Campaign did a complete 180 on the topic

Healthy Illinois strongly condemns the decision and calls on Governor Pritzker to reverse his decision immediately and work in good faith with advocates and members of the Illinois General Assembly to ensure that healthcare truly is a right, not a privilege in our state.

By slashing live-saving health coverage for Illinois immigrants, Governor Pritzker is turning his back on the communities he claims Illinois welcomes and aligning himself with anti-immigrant Republicans around the country.

Since then, protests have been held, more denunciations have been issued.

* NBC 5 yesterday

There were some protests today against Governor Pritzker’s decision to pause a program that offers health care for low income immigrants.

The Healthy Illinois Campaign organized yesterday’s protest, during which a speaker said: “This decision to cut health care insurance for the most vulnerable is an immoral decision that we are told is based on the numbers and the budget.”

* Advocacy groups are hugely important to the lawmaking process. The group may be doing this to increase public awareness about today’s deadline to apply for benefits. If so, it’s likely working. I guess we’ll see what the future brings, but flip-flopping like this doesn’t do much to help create and keep Statehouse allies.

* While we’re on this general topic, here’s WAND

Two of the top Illinois House Republicans and several sheriffs from across the state were in McAllen, Texas this week to better understand the crisis at the border with the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

House GOP Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) and Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) said people make too many assumptions about what is happening at the border. McCombie told WAND News that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should put politics aside and make the trip themselves. […]

Yet, the Republicans noted that no one should be placing blame on Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida). McCombie said if Pritzker was the governor of Texas, he would have no other choice than to send migrants to other states to receive proper care. […]

McCombie told WAND News that many Republicans predict Illinois will need a “hefty” supplemental budget passed during veto session to address resources for undocumented immigrants. Veto session is scheduled to start on October 24.

“If the federal government is not going to address all of the issues when it comes to immigration, which they’re obviously not, there is no choice for these southern states to come forward to us,” McCombie said.

The biggest issue I have with this is that Illinois and other states are receiving no advance notice. People are just being dumped. No way to run a railroad.

       

17 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    –McCombie said if Pritzker was the governor of Texas, he would have no other choice than to send migrants to other states–

    She lasted as long as she could, I suppose.

    Meanwhile, I sit here wondering where the ILGOP public-private-partnership cheerleading is on this issue. Specifically for solutions involving the state and religious groups to provide charitable care. Many hospitals are run by religious groups.

    The very purpose of many of these groups is outreach. Yet they are completely silent, and so are their enablers. They seem to be too busy currently figuring out who they don’t want to help.


  2. - Norseman - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:48 am:

    Typical MAGA GOP performative display. Immigrants are their best target for hate. Their only proposed solutions involve cruelty and isolation. The only rough spot for them on the issue is that part of their constituency group depends on illegal immigrants to make money.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===Illinois and other states are receiving no advance notice.===

    For me, this is everything.

    “Shipping” humans as packaged goods for political points versus humanely aiding the transfer to other places is the racial political posturing and framing desired, it’s not wholly about what’s best for any or all involved.

    Work collaboratively.


  4. - Earnest - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:11 pm:

    McCombie said if Pritzker was the governor of Texas, he would have no other choice than to send migrants to other states to receive proper care

    No other choice than to send people without notice to blue states only in order to own the libs? No other choice?


  5. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:21 pm:

    It’s not about running a railroad for either.


  6. - can't stay silent anyone - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    It is a completely disingenuous statement to say that advocates knew this would happen and did nothing about it. And to point out that advocates supported a budget that appropriated 550 million which is 330 million more in funding for the program (as well as the most ever appropriated and matching estimates of what it would cost in FY24) than the Governor’s introduced budget of 220 million, so that means advocates are “flip flopping” now is ludicrous. HFS posted on their website on 6/16 notice that Pritzker would immediately cut the program in the most drastic way before even $1 of the FY24 appropriation was spent. Instead of meeting with legislators and community and discussing the latest spending trends and various solutions, instead the Governor used his unilateral authority to take an unprecedented, immediate, and drastic stop to enrollment and imposition of $250 co-pays unheard of in Medicaid or private insurance in emergency rules that were filed today - only hours before they take effect with no ability to comment or have JCAR formally review.


  7. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:38 pm:

    So when states have problems it is up to other states to help solve them? Regardless if they are consulted.

    I can think of one or two issues we could send to Texas.

    And the Illinois “delegation” should have stayed in Illinois.


  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===It is a completely disingenuous statement to say that advocates knew this would happen and did nothing about it===

    lol

    Please. There are two main ways to reduce healthcare costs: cut provider rates and cut/limit benefits. Both were done here. And there is zero doubt that the group knew enrollment would be cut off because of its own press release praising the budget.

    I was born at night, but not last night.


  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===only hours before they take effect with no ability to comment or have JCAR formally review. ===

    Again. lol

    The emergency rules powers were in the Medicaid omnibus. Nobody formally objected.


  10. - can't stay silent anyone - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:49 pm:

    Having emergency rule powers (which HFS always has if they can show they meet the Illinois rulemaking requirements for an emergency) has existed since the beginning of the program in 2020, along with statutory language stating that the program can be restricted if necessary. That does not mean advocates knew that the Gov, having receiving 330 million more in funding than the he asked for, would immediately stop enrollment as opposed to other “solutions” floated by his own administration including managed care and maximizing federal emergency medicaid among others.


  11. - Loyal Virus - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:52 pm:

    ==Immigrants are their best target for hate. Their only proposed solutions involve cruelty and isolation== Except when transgender people distract them.


  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===has existed since the beginning ===

    This was a controversy that I wrote about. The governor’s office claimed the way the statutes were written (all slightly different for the three programs) made them far less confident that imposing emergency rules would survive a legal challenge (which has been an issue the past few years). So they asked for specific language, which they received and which nobody formally objected to.

    ===immediately stop enrollment ===

    You get 12 months to slash a $1.1 billion increase in half. Waiting only makes the hole deeper.


  13. - Occasional Quipper - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===Illinois and other states are receiving no advance notice.===

    And how much advance notice is Texas getting before the immigrants cross the border illegally? So Texas is supposed to take care of them all there, just by virtue of their geographic location?


  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===And how much advance notice is Texas ===

    Oh, that was such a BRILLIANT response. Nobody’s EVER tried using that whataboutism ploy before. Such a deep thinker.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:01 pm:

    ===And how much advance notice is Texas getting before the immigrants cross the border illegally?===

    Adults understand that what is happening can be made better by planning and not have racial posturing by a governor to ship human beings like packaged goods.

    Now… If you’re saying that Abbott is grossly inept and can’t be an adult and talk and work with others..


  16. - Chris - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 4:11 pm:

    ““Shipping” humans as packaged goods”

    Worse than packaged goods, OW.

    Businesses (mostly) get notice of deliveries so they have warehouse space, and workers to unload the goods.


  17. - froganon - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 4:43 pm:

    The outrage and posturing over Pritzker’s actions to limit coverage from Latin leadership and organizations is over the top and short sighted. Illinois. Can’t. Afford. The. Program. They. Demand…full stop. Channel that energy into persuading voters to pay enough taxes to cover all of our residents. Enormous progress has been made. Celebrate that progress and build a tax payer force to pass a graduated income tax.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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