Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Gov. Pat Quinn Proposed Illinois Medicaid Cuts to Cost Illinois Economy $3.2 Billion, Report Says

April 26, 2012

(Springfield, IL) – Two health-care advocacy groups are predicting thousands of job losses and billions of dollars in economic damage to Illinois, if Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to conjure $2.7 billion in savings from the Medicaid program is implemented.

Quinn’s plan would jeopardize 25,615 jobs and cost the state’s economy $3.2 billion, according to a report released Wednesday by the Illinois Hospital Association, which lobbies for Illinois hospitals, and the Campaign for Better Health Care, an organization that advocates for health-care access

“Drastic Medicaid cuts hurt everyone, not just the Medicaid patients. Hospitals will be forced to reduce jobs. Local businesses will be impacted,” Illinois Hospital Association President Maryjane Wurth said.

“And hospitals will be forced to cut or eliminate medical services that everyone uses — there is not a separate set of staff, equipment and facilities just for Medicaid patients.”

Quinn’s proposal reduces the amount Medicaid providers get paid by $675 million, accounting for 25 percent of the $2.7 billion in savings.

Nearly every dollar of the $6.6 billion the state spends on Medicaid goes to providers. Cutting provider reimbursement’s by $675 million translates into an across the board rate reduction of 7 percent to 9 percent for providers, according to Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan.

Callahan said that in the end it wouldn’t be a blanket rate cut. Some providers would see rates reduced by more than 9 percent, while others might avoid a rate cut all together.

“That still is something that’s being worked out,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said. “These are tough choices, but the reality is that (the) entire Medicaid system will collapse, which would be far worse, if we do nothing.”

Anderson pointed out that Quinn’s plan actually doesn’t seek $2.7 billion in cuts to the Medicaid program. Instead, it calls for:

  • Cutting $2 billion in services and what Medicaid providers are paid,
  • Raising the state’s cigarette tax by a dollar, from 98 cents to $1.98.

The tax hike is expected to yield $337.5 million, plus a federal match of $337.5 million for that tax increase, all of which would cover the rising cost of Medicaid, according to Quinn’s office.

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Child Welfare Advocates Hail Governor Pat Quinn, Rep Joe Lyons, Senator Dan Kotowski for New Law to Capture $17 Million for Illinois Abused Kid Care

July 21, 2010

(Springfield, IL) — July 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today approved a bill that would enable the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to capture an additional $17 million from the federal government to help pay for Illinois foster children care.

The House backed the legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) and State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), 113-0.

“The economic crisis has undermined a DCFS fund that pays for care of abused and neglected children and it can no longer generate enough money to sustain current spending,” said Marge Berglind, President of Child Care Association of Illinois. “The legislation will cost the state nothing. All the new money would come from the federal government.”

Berglind did note, “Some concerns were raised late last week as the bill was being reviewed by budget and policy staff.  However, we were able to submit additional information about the intent of the bill and its purpose to the Governor’s office that helped address those concerns.”

“This bill was an initiative of CCAI that took 2 years to reach a conclusion, including many hearings and meetings. We thank Senator Kotowski, Representative Lyons and Governor Quinn for their support and efforts on our behalf,” Berglind said.

DCFS has asked private child welfare agencies to voluntarily convert foster care and counseling services into Medicaid-claimable programs.

In addition to Lyons, House sponsors include: Naomi Jakobsson (D), Sara Feigenholtz (D), Pat Verschoore (D), Jehan Gordon (D), David Leitch (D), Paul Froehlich (D), LaShawn Ford (D) and Tom Holbrook (D).

Marge Berglind Receives Jane Addams Women of Valor Award

June 15, 2010

Marge Berglind, President & CEO, Child Care Association of Illinois

(Chicago, IL) — June 15, 2010. As part of a year-long celebration that will culminate in Jane Addams’150th Birthday Celebration in September 2010, the Jane Addams Women of Valor Award today was presented to Margaret Berglind, LCSW, and longtime NASW Illinois Chapter member.

Berglind is president and CEO of Child Care Association of Illinois.

The Child Care Association of Illinois (CCAI) promotes, protects, advocates for, and strengthens a responsive, not-for-profit service delivery system and shapes public policies for the benefit of children and families.

“Marge is true advocate for the member child welfare agencies and articulates the needs and the realities of the child welfare system in the state of Illinois,” said Terri A. Johnson, Vice President, Policy & Advocacy at the Jane Addams Hull House Association.

“I’m proud and humbled to received this distinguished honor,” said Berglind.

The keynote speaker at the event was Dr. Creasie Hairston, dean of the University of Illinois Jane Addams College of Social Work.

Pat Quinn’s Budget Jeopardizes 24-Hour Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Care, After School, Special Ed for 17,000 Troubled Teens

April 27, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes additional $4.1 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers will undermine care and after school programs for at least 17,000 children, according to advocates today who appeared at an Illinois Senate panel hearing.

“Governor Pat Quinn last month delivered a brief but dismal budget message,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “And that message said the state will once again slash care to more than 17,000 troubled Illinois teenagers.”

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget under the Illinois Department of Human Services, headed by Secretary Michelle Saddler, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10% this year and 20% in the last two state budgets.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts totaling 30%,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Berglind made her comments as the Illinois State Senate Humans Services Appropriations Committee today took budget testimony at its hearing from youth service advocates.  Senate Committee members include: Chairman Donne Trotter (D), Jeff Schoenberg (D), Jacqueline Collins (D), William Delgado (D), Mattie Hunter (D), Mike Jacobs (D), Emil Jones, III (D), Matt Murphy (R), Pamela Althoff (R), Tim Bivins (R), Chris Lauzen (R), Dave Syverson (R).

Additionally, Berglind noted that Illinois Department of Human Services officials said that 4,200 children would lose care due to Quinn’s cuts to Mental Health Community Based services.

“Eliminating mental health care for 4,200 children will likely doom their academic performance,” said Berglind.

Finally, Berglind noted that the state special education budget took a huge hit of almost $67 million in Quinn’s budget. In the budget, the Regular Orphanage Act line is down 25.44%, the Special Ed Orphanage Act line is down 32.13% and the Private Tuition Line is down 13.78%.

“State support for special education is down, down, down the drain,” said Berglind.

“We urge the General Assembly to develop a budget that reverses the massive cuts to care, after school, and special education programs for troubled youth,” said Berglind.

Illinois House Sends Gov. Pat Quinn Lyons-Kotowski Bill to Secure $17 Million from Federal Government for Illinois Foster Care

April 22, 2010

State Rep. Joe Lyons

(Springfield, IL) — April 22, 2010. The Illinois House today unanimously approved a bill that would enable the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to capture an additional $17 million from the federal government to help pay for Illinois foster children care.

The House backed the legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) and State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), 113-0.

“The economic crisis has undermined a DCFS fund that pays for care of abused and neglected children and it can no longer generate enough money to sustain current spending,” said Marge Berglind, President of Child Care Association of Illinois.

“The legislation will cost the state nothing. All the new money would come from the federal government.”

DCFS has asked private child welfare agencies to voluntarily convert foster care and counseling services into Medicaid-claimable programs.

In addition to Lyons, House sponsors include: Naomi Jakobsson (D), Sara Feigenholtz (D), Pat Verschoore (D), Jehan Gordon (D), David Leitch (D), Paul Froehlich (D), LaShawn Ford (D) and Tom Holbrook (D).

The measure now goes to Governor Pat Quinn for consideration.

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Bill to Grant Illinois Adult Adoptees Original Birth Certificate Heads to Gov. Pat Quinn’s Desk

April 22, 2010

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

(Springfield, IL) – April 22, 2010. The Illinois Senate yesterday approved legislation that would enable adult adoptees to secure their original birth certificates unless the birth parents object.

Following on the heels of Illinois House passage last week, the Senate approved the plan 36-16. The legislation, House Bill 5428, sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), now goes to Governor Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the legislation.

With Quinn’s signature, the law will take effect in November 2011.

In the meantime, a yearlong informational campaign will alert birth parents that their names would become available to their adopted children, 21 and older, unless they file a formal denial form.

Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi (D-Crest Hill) served as the chief Senate sponsor. Other Senate sponsors included Democrats: Ira Silverstein, Iris Martinez, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter and Donne Trotter.

Feigenholtz, an adoptee who has met her birth mother and labored for more than a decade in the legislature to advance the cause of adoptee rights, said the current system of birth certificate denial to adults, such as herself, is wrong and birth-parent anonymity was relic from generation that sought to hide out-of-wedlock births and adoptions due to stigma.

“Times change,” said Feigenholtz. “Adopted families have to close the book on the stigma.”

Other House sponsors included Democrats: Naomi Jakobsson, Chuck Jefferson, Carol Sente, Karen Yarbrough, Esther Golar, Susana Mendoza, Elaine Nekritz, Julie Hamos, Eddie Jackson, Bob Rita, Mike Smith, Monique Davis, Deborah Mell, Dan Burke, Karen May, Cynthia Soto and Eddie Washington. Republican  Angelo “Skip” Saviano was also a House sponsor.

The Child Care Association of Illinois backed Feigenholtz’s bill.

Illinois Senate OKs Kotowski Plan to Capture $17 Million from U.S. Government for Illinois Foster Care

March 18, 2010

(Springfield, IL) – March 18, 2010. The Illinois Senate last night unanimously approved a bill that would enable the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to capture an additional $17 million from the federal government to help pay for Illinois foster children care.

The Senate backed the legislation, Senate Bill 3420, sponsored by State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) by a 56-0 vote.

“The economic crisis has undermined a DCFS fund that pays for care of abused and neglected children and it can no longer generate enough money to sustain current spending,” said Marge Berglind, President of Child Care Association of Illinois.

“The legislation will cost the state nothing. All the new money would come from the federal government.”

DCFS has asked private child welfare agencies to voluntarily convert foster care and counseling services into Medicaid-claimable programs.

The legislation now moves to the Illinois House where State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) is the sponsor.