Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bertino-Tarrant Supports Bill To Expand Eligibility for Illinois Medicaid

February 28, 2013

Illinois State Bill 26 passed today in the Illinois State Senate.  Beginning January 1, 2014, the bill:

"extends benefits under the State's medical assistance program to persons aged 19 or older, but younger than 65, who are not otherwise eligible for medical assistance under the Code, who qualify for medical assistance under specified provisions of the Social Security Act, and who have income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level plus 5% for the applicable family size. Provides that the 4-year moratorium on the expansion of medical assistance eligibility through increasing financial eligibility standards shall not apply to this new class of persons. Provides that such persons shall receive coverage for the Health Benefits Service Package. Defines "Health Benefits Service Package". Provides that if Illinois' federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) is reduced below 90% for persons eligible for medical assistance under the specified provisions, medical assistance eligibility for this new class of persons shall cease no later than the end of the third month following the month in which the reduction in FMAP takes effect. Effective immediately."

This means that an individual with an annual income below 15,415 would be able to enroll in Medicaid starting January 14, 2014.  As part of the federal Patient Care and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the State will be repaid by the federal government for the entire cost of these new Medicaid enrollees through 2017. The rate of reimbursement will decrease from 100% after 2017 but remain at least 90% after 2020.  

Illinois State Bill 26 Full Text HERE.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement today after the Senate passed healthcare  expansion legislation (SB 26) out of its chamber: “There are over 4,000 needy people in the 49th District who will benefit from this proposal. I am pleased that the Senate was able to pass legislation that extends protections to people and families whose health and well-being are too often overlooked.”

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Toi Hutchinson Drops Out of 2nd Congressional Race, Backs Robin Kelly

State Senator Toi Hutchinson has posted on her Facebook page that she is withdrawing her name from the Illinois Second Congressional election to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr..  Hutchinson endorsed Robin Kelly.

Hutchinson wrote on her Facebook page:
"I said from day one that my campaign was not about me. It was about fighting for what we need in this district. If in an effort to win I become a part of dividing our house, it wouldn’t be a win. Not when we need unity more than ever. That’s why yesterday I decided to withdraw my candidacy for the 2nd Congressional district seat. I thank God that I still have a platform to fight for all of the things that are so important to all of us in the State Senate. But as ever, I also know we need a champion in Congress as well. Today I endorsed Robin Kelly in her campaign to win this district, and I urge you to support her with your vote on election day. 

We can’t move our state or country forward divided. I always said that this campaign was not about me. I’m stepping aside so we can stand together as a party and as a community. Our voices are loud. Our voices are strong. I believe in us. That will never change.

Thank you all for your support."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kinzinger Response to President's State of the Union Address 2013

Illinois 16th Congressional Congressman Adam Kinzinger has released the following response to President Obama's State of the Union Address:

“Tonight, Americans heard more of the same from President Obama which is disheartening news for our economy – and our country. Tonight was a major opportunity for the President to call Republicans and Democrats together to say both sides must work together to find common ground in order to solve the huge problems facing this country for future generations.

“That's something that was sorely missing here tonight; the discussion of what will happen to the next generation of Americans. And, unfortunately, President Obama once again descended back into more partisan rhetoric that only divides the nation rather than unites our country to conquer our spending addiction and gets us back on the path toward prosperity.

“As we head into the 113th Congress, our government’s problems are clear: we must quit spending more money than we take in; we must focus our efforts toward growing the private sector, where jobs are created; and Washington must pass a budget and get serious about comprehensive tax reform.

“As I’ve said before, in the coming months, the Senate and White House must work with the House to tackle serious fiscal reforms including the sequester and the debt ceiling. The American people chose a divided government in Washington and they’re counting on us to work together.

“One thing I wanted to hear in tonight’s address was how our leaders planned to look after our youth. The decisions from economic and budgetary to national defense and foreign affairs are going to have a direct impact on future generations.

“It’s crucial that our youth understand that decisions made today will impact the world that they must govern tomorrow. We simply cannot force more than $53,000 in debt onto the backs of these younger generations. We as a nation must recognize that a weak economy will lead to weak nation security.

“Earlier we learned that in defiance of international warnings and sanctions, the North Korean regime has conducted a nuclear weapons test. This is the third nuclear weapon test since 2006, and the first test since the KimJong-un took power.

“In the strongest terms I condemn the recent nuclear test by the North Korean regime. Time and time again we have asked China to apply the necessary pressure to put an end to this dangerous and threatening path. The President has a responsibility to partner with our friends in South Korea and China to develop a strategy that will lead to a cessation of these nuclear tests. Weapons grade uranium is much easier to proliferate and serves as a direct threat to the U.S. and our allies. The United States cannot be blind to the threats facing us.

“The President’s proposed defense cuts would debilitate our military and make it extremely difficult to respond to such threats in 5 or 10 years. I have been and continue to be willing to work with my colleagues from both parties to find a solution to our budget crisis that will put us on a long term path to solvency and strengthen our national security – the future our country depends on it.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2nd Congressional Candidate Forum in Peotone

The resignation of Jesse Jackson, Jr. means residents of the Illinois Second Congressional District will elect a new representative during the April 2013 municipal election.  

 Primary elections will be held February 26, 2013.    Voters can attend a candidate forum in Peotone at Peotone High School organized by The Will County Farm Bureau, The Cook County Farm Bureau, Shut This Airport Nightmare Down (STAND), Will County Board Member Judy Ogalla, and Kankakee County Commissioner John Howard.

All candidates have been invited.  

Forum Details:
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Peotone High School, 605 W. North St., Peotone
Doors open at 2pm, forum begins at 2:30pm