We are pleased to announce the 2021 EverThrive Illinois Policy Priorities that will direct our work in the upcoming year. These priorities reflect our ongoing commitment to address the most pressing health problems facing women, children, and families. They also advance our mission to dismantle systemic racism and inequality, paving the way for greater health equity in Illinois.
1.) Advocate for policy and systems changes that positively impact health and birth outcomes for parents and children.
This includes supporting policies, programs, and funding that address the root causes of maternal mortality. We’ll specifically focus on expanding Medicaid coverage to 12 months postpartum for every Illinoisan, regardless of immigration status, expanding access to doula, home visiting, and lactation support services for people with Medicaid coverage, and addressing racism in medical settings.
We will also support expanding access to quality mental health and substance use support for pregnant and postpartum individuals, advance policies that aim to reduce health disparities, and advocate for immunization policies and programs that provide science-based information and the timely administration of vaccinations during pregnancy and across the lifespan
Finally, we’ll fight for policies that promote healthy pregnancies and healthy infants, which include but are not limited to, infant mortality reduction and breastfeeding programs, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC), Medicaid, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
2.) Advance policies that improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional health of children and adolescents.
This includes advocating for the full integration of school-based health centers (SBHCs) into all financial models, including Medicaid Managed Care, and supporting policy that sustainable implements behavioral health services in SBHCs. We will support policies that improve and increase access to Early Intervention services and both policies and practices that increase access to mental health providers, nurses, and restorative justice services
We’ll oppose the use of physical restraints and other punitive measures that have negative impacts on the mental, emotional, and physical health of youth and oppose the use of police booking stations in schools, the use of police force against students, and the overreliance of police in school settings.
Finally, we’ll support access to sexual and reproductive health education in schools, and support efforts to repeal the Parental Notification of Abortion Act
3.) Advance policies that promote access to high-quality, comprehensive health insurance for every Illinoisans.
This includes promoting policies that improve the efficacy and consumer-focus of Medicaid coverage and increase transparency and affordability of private health insurance plans. This also includes codifying in state law the protections enacted in the Affordable Care Act.
We will monitor short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans to ensure they are accurately conveying terms of coverage and aren’t using predatory tactics to mislead consumers. We will also protect, support, and advocate for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health benefits in all forms of insurance coverage, including ensuring health plans have robust coverage for contraceptives, pregnancy management, and abortion, and expanding equitable access to telehealth services. We will also support the implementation of the Reproductive Health Act (H.B. 40) and the presumptive eligibility rule.
4.) Advocate for an Illinois state budget that adequately funds policies that foster vibrant communities and promotes the health of children, adolescents, women, and families.
This includes advocating for ongoing state funding to address postpartum coverage disparities between citizens and those without a legal pathway to coverage, increased funding for the Illinois SBHCs, and increased funding for Infant Mortality Reduction programs and programs related to maternal health. We will continue to support a progressive income tax structure for Illinois to require those who earn more income to pay a higher rate and those who have a lower income to pay a lower rate.
In addition to our statewide advocacy, EverThrive IL will monitor and advocate for the following focus areas:
- Support policies and programs that address the Black maternal health crisis.
- Support policies and programs that support school-based health centers and programs that provide youth access to sexual and reproductive health information and resources.
- Support policies, programs, and funding that improve health outcomes and support parents throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period.
- Support policies, programs, and funding that promote healthy pregnancies, infants, and children
- Support and protect policies that expand access to affordable, timely access to the full range of contraceptive and abortion care. We also support repealing the Hyde Amendment and oppose any policies that would restrict or delay access to abortion care.
- Support and defend access to high quality, affordable health care, and insurance. This includes a robust network of enrollment assisters, including Navigators and Certified Application Counselors, to conduct outreach and enrollment for Affordable Care Act plans and Medicaid, as well as promote health literacy.
- Reject any measure to restrict and eliminate access to vital health programs and social supports based on immigration status, especially as it relates to the public charge rule.