Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Graduating Students Need to Pay Attention to Health Insurance Rules PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Obama for America Press Office   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:35
Students have 30 days once health plans end to notify their parents’ health insurance company to continue coverage; delay could cause long lapse

DES MOINES — Few students realize that once their health plans ends after graduation they have 30 days to notify their parents’ health insurance company to continue coverage. If students miss the 30-day window, it could be months before they’re able to join their parents’ plan under open enrollment. To help educate students of the rules, Obama for America today released the attached fact sheet detailing the action graduating college students can take to keep health care coverage once they are out of school.  Under the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, students can stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26 – and 2.5 million young adults who would otherwise be uninsured have coverage today because of Obamacare. 

Before health care reform, more young Americans lacked health coverage than any other age group – accounting for more than one in five of the uninsured.  As young people transition to the job market, they often have entry level jobs, part time jobs, or jobs at small businesses – all forms of employment that are less likely to offer insurance.  That is why it is imperative to let students know how to switch from their student health plan to their parents’ plan after graduation.  Once student health plans end, they will have only 30 days to notify their parents’ health insurance company.  If students miss the 30-day window, it could be months before they’re able to join their parents’ plan under open enrollment.





Governor Pat Quinn Statement on House of Representatives Passage of Cigarette Tax Legislation to Rescue Medicaid PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Nafia Khan   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:12

SPRINGFIELD – May 25, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the Illinois House of Representatives passing Senate Bill 2194, a key part of his proposal for Medicaid restructuring.


“I applaud Speaker Madigan and Leader Currie and members of the House of Representative for passing legislation to increase the price of cigarettes to help eliminate Medicaid's $2.7 billion deficit, improve the health of people across Illinois, and bring back federal dollar-for-dollar matching funds.


“We need to take decisive action to protect Illinois’ Medicaid system from collapse. The cigarette tax is not just good fiscal policy, but good health policy. Adding a dollar per pack will help 60,000 people quit smoking, prevent 60,000 deaths from smoking-related conditions and keep 80,000 kids from taking up smoking in the first place.


“Today’s action will improve the health of our people and lower the burden of smoking-related conditions on our Medicaid system, while helping to fill the $2.7 billion Medicaid shortfall and stabilize the system for those that need it.


“We hope Senators will follow their colleagues in the House, and quickly pass this legislation, which is critical to rescuing Medicaid.”


Skin Cancer Preventable For Those Who Work or Play Outdoors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by David Bryan   
Monday, 04 June 2012 13:53

(Kansas City, Kan., May 25, 2012) - The sunny days of spring and summer represent an entirely different dynamic for people in the Midwest.  While large numbers of people are heading for camp sites, parks and beaches that flourish throughout our region, it also means that the agriculture community – our farmers and ranchers – are hard at work in the fields and on rangeland. This means that the risk will increase for those spending more time in the sun.


Several agencies have designated Friday, May 25, 2012, as “Don’t Fry Day” as a way to highlight sun safety. EPA has joined the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Park Service (NPS) to emphasize the dangers of skin cancer and has provided simple steps Americans can take to protect themselves. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designated the Friday before Memorial Day “Don’t Fry Day” as a way to highlight sun safety.

Farmers and ranchers face a range of occupational hazards--from machinery accidents to chemical exposures from fertilizers and pesticides, to injuries from working with animals. A less-visible danger comes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can damage skin, leading to skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, and suppression of the immune system.


“Ultraviolet radiation is a serious threat to our health and especially to the health of those who make a living outside in the fields and on the rangeland in our region,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “The increased threat faced during the long and hot summer days of the heartland makes it imperative that we remember sun safety this summer.”


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and the most common cancer among 20 to 30 year-olds. It's estimated that one American dies every hour from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Approximately 76,000 new cases of melanoma will occur this year.

To help protect people's health, EPA’s SunWise program, one of the nation's largest environmental and health education programs, encourages kids and their caregivers to practice safe sun habits and raises awareness about UV sunlight that penetrates the Earth's ozone layer.

Here are some tips to help Americans continue to exercise, get outside and be SunWise this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer:

Check the UV Index app: Check the ultraviolet (UV) index anytime by downloading EPA's app ( to help plan outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. UV rays from the sun (and from artificial light sources such as tanning beds) can lead to skin cancer.

Apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing: Apply a palm-full of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to exposed skin about 15 minutes before heading outdoors. Reapply every two hours. Wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses also prevents sun damage.

Seek shade, not sun: The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so seek shade during this time.

Although less common in individuals with darker complexions, skin cancer does not discriminate and is more often fatal for individuals with darker skin. Overexposure to the sun also causes immune suppression and up to 90 percent of wrinkles, brown spots, leathering of the skin and sagging.

EPA's SunWise program offers factsheets online that have state-specific information ( ).


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Morthland Backs Landmark Medicaid Reform PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 14:51
SPRINGFIELD, IL – On a day that saw a rare, bipartisan effort to rein in state spending, State Representative Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) backed landmark Medicaid reform legislation aimed at cutting Illinois’ Medicaid spending and reversing a decade long trend of exploding costs.

“Today, the Illinois House passed landmark reforms that will ensure the future viability of our Medicaid program,” Morthland said. “Without meaningful Medicaid reforms, Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills would grow to approximately $21 billion by 2017, a level of spending that is simply unsustainable. So we took action to cut nearly $1.6 billion from the State’s $11 billion Medicaid program, which will help get Illinois back on solid fiscal ground.”

With passage of Senate Bill 2840, an estimated 300,000 individuals are expected to be removed from Illinois’ Medicaid rolls because they do not meet income eligibility guidelines, are not Illinois residents, have died, or have aged-out of the All Kids program. This eligibility verification alone will save taxpayers $350 million.

The bill also provides for a moderate rate reduction for hospitals of 3.5% and exempts Critical Access and Safety Net Hospitals from the reduction.

Senate Bill 2840, which passed the House on a vote of 94-22-1, will do the following:

  • Roll back the Blagojevich expansion of Family Care by reducing the eligibility limit for parents to $30,000 for a family of four
  • Impose a $10 co-pay for emergency room visits
  • Require a $3.60 co-pay on all services and a $2 co-pay for generic medications
  • Limit prescription coverage to four prescriptions per month without doctor certification or need or specialty drug/condition exception
  • Eliminate funding for adult chiropractic services

Representative Morthland added that he voted against the so-called Obamacare expansion for Cook County, contained in House Bill 5007.


Governor Pat Quinn Statement on General Assembly Passage of Medicaid Rescue Legislation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Andrew Mason   
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 14:50

SPRINGFIELD – May 24, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the Illinois General Assembly passing Senate Bill 2840, a key part of his proposal for Medicaid restructuring.


“I salute Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, Minority Leader Christine Radogno, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, Rep. Patti Bellock, Sen. Heather Steans, Sen. Dale Righter, members of the General Assembly and everyone who joined the working group for making significant progress today towards rescuing our Medicaid system.


This is the first step toward saving Medicaid for those that rely upon it. The status quo would have led to Medicaid’s collapse, and I am pleased to see the General Assembly take strong action to put our Medicaid system and our state on the path to sound fiscal footing.


And there is more work to do.


The General Assembly must move quickly to pass legislation to add a dollar a pack to the cost of cigarettes, which – combined with today’s legislation - will achieve the necessary $2.7 billion in savings to rescue Medicaid.


Raising the price of cigarettes is also sound health policy; smoking-related conditions are a significant burden on our Medicaid system, and this measure will improve the health of our people and reduce future Medicaid costs. Members of the General Assembly should not delay in taking action to reduce our Medicaid burden and access dollar-for-dollar federal matching funds by increasing the price of cigarettes.



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