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For all its many faults, Illinois did do something right

Tuesday, Oct 1, 2019

* Kaiser Health News

Patricia Powers went a few years without health insurance and was unable to afford regular doctor visits. So the Missouri resident, who lives near St. Louis, had no idea that cancerous tumors were silently growing in both of her breasts.

If Powers lived just across the Mississippi River in neighboring Illinois, she would have qualified for Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income residents that 36 states and the District of Columbia decided to expand under the Affordable Care Act. But Missouri politicians chose not to expand it — a decision some groups are trying to reverse by getting signatures to put the option on the 2020 ballot.

Powers’ predicament reflects an odd twist in the way the health care law has played out: State borders have become arbitrary dividing lines between Medicaid’s haves and have-nots, with Americans in similar financial straits facing vastly different health care fortunes. This affects everything from whether diseases are caught early to whether people can stay well enough to work. […]

A recent University of Michigan study found Medicaid expansion substantially reduced mortality rates from 2014 to 2017. The researchers said Illinois averted 345 deaths annually while Missouri had 194 additional deaths each year. The same trends held for other side-by-side states such as Kentucky (did expand) and Tennessee (did not), New Mexico (did) and Texas (did not).

And it’s not just the averted deaths. It’s also the averted debilitating impacts of untreated or partially treated illnesses and injuries and the crushing debts which often lead to bankruptcies and the inability to work or be productive citizens

In neighboring Illinois, getting Medicaid through the expansion helped Matt Bednarowicz avoid debilitating medical debt after a motorcycle crash.

The wreck crushed his left foot, requiring doctors to insert pins. Without Medicaid, he would have faced thousands of dollars in medical bills.

“The debt would have been greater than I could comprehend overcoming,” says Bednarowicz, who is now 29.

His Medicaid kicked in “just in the nick of time” to cover the surgery, Bednarowicz says. It also allowed him to get psychiatric help for depression. More than a year later, he’s able to get around well — even jog — and works as a caregiver for an elderly man.

Having insurance helps people like Bednarowicz stay productive, says Riopedre.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

Ives appears to be gearing up for Casten challenge

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

* Lynn Sweet

Someone is paying for a poll to test how former state Sen. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, would do against freshman Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., who represents the swing suburban sixth congressional district.

Ives, a conservative, almost defeated former Gov. Bruce Rauner and Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti in the March, 2018 GOP primary, with Rauner struggling to attract Republicans while also keeping a distance from President Donald Trump.

In April, Sanguinetti announced a March, 2020 GOP primary bid in the sixth. […]

Ives was asked, “Are you interested or thinking about running for Congress in the 6th district?” and she replied, “We’ve you know, this for me it’s always been a team decision. I don’t do anything without my team supporting it and we’ve not made a decision on any race at all.”

Asked about the origins of the survey, she said, “You know, I don’t control that,” adding that she was one of the people getting a call from the polling firm.

An Ives run has long been expected by several folks in the area.

* Somebody tweeted at me about the poll the other day…


“Whether it’s Evelyn Sanguinetti or Jeanne Ives, it’s clear that Republicans will be running a rubber stamp in the 6th District for President Trump’s disastrous agenda of higher health care costs and higher taxes,” said DCCC spokesperson Mike Gwin. “Illinoisans want someone like Sean Casten who will stand up to President Trump when he hurts Illinois and threatens our values – not someone like Sanguinetti or Ives who will back him every step of the way.”

President Trump lost the 6th CD by 7 points in 2016. This is a formerly reliable GOP bastion, but it’s now a swing district for the near-term at least. Casten won by 7 points last year and Gov. Bruce Rauner won by 5. Rauner won by 33 points four years earlier. Obama lost it by 8 in 2012.

* Related…

* Former Illinois congressman Bobby Schilling eyeing run in Iowa’s 2nd District

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

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