April Policy Update

Thursday, April 6
Lifeline budget introduced in Springfield last night as another stopgap measure to address the state budget crisis. On the federal level, amendments being proposed to the American Health Care Act keep advocates on watch.
State Policy Update
Yesterday evening, the House democratic leadership introduced a "lifeline" budget bill, HB109 HFA1. This bill is another stopgap budget proposal aimed at infusing a little more cash for health and human service programs as well as higher education since the appropriation authority in the last stopgap budget expired on December 31, 2016 (the appropriations for human services starts on page 13 of the bill). HB109 HFA1 includes only partial funding- a third of what these programs receive in a typical year. Included in the broad stopgap budget bill is funding for school health centers, infant mortality programs, the SIDS of Illinois, the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), domestic violence shelters, homeless youth, and many more public health and human service programs.  In addition, the bill addresses the near-crisis situations in Illinois' higher education system - including MAP grants for Monetary Awards Program (MAP) - a lifeline for many low-income university and community college students statewide. Find a full list of programs funded through this "lifeline" budget bill here.
The bill passed out of the House Human Services committee with only democratic votes last night, and Governor Rauner has come out against this bill, criticizing HB109 as another "bandaid" fix to Illinois' larger state budget impasse. While the governor and republicans expressed a desire to work out a comprehensive, balanced, one-year budget, the fate of the bill is still unclear as it still has to make it through a full vote on the House floor and then make it through the same process in the Senate.
Federal Policy Update
Congress has had a busy winter with attempts to 'repeal and replace' the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - although they have not yet been successful - thanks to your advocacy and unified voice.  Keep it up!  Just today, another amendment to the American Health Care Act - the republican 'replace' that failed to find enough votes for passage last month - is being introduced by the so-called Freedom Caucus to make it easier for insurance companies to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions. Knowing that our work is not yet done, we are monitoring all developments and continur to share our perspective and concerns with members of Congress. 
We are approaching a two-week congressional recess where our Illinois congressional delegates will be home and in their district offices between April 10th and April 24th. EverThrive IL, in partnership with the Protect Our Care Illinois Coalition, is coordinating activities with our coalition partners, both on the ground and through print and social media to push back against any healthcare proposals that will dilute or eliminate the progress made through the adoption of  the ACA. Illinois cannot accept any changes that will reduce service or coverage, or increase costs for the millions of Illinoisans enrolled in Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Check out this recent op-ed advocating for the protection of the ACA's "Medicaid Expansion" population authored by EverThrive IL's Policy Director, Nadeen Israel, and stay informed and engaged in our ACA and Medicaid defense work through the Protect Our Care Illinois Coalition.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
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