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.
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.
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today received full Senate passage of his legislation to impose a nationwide ban on the chemicals used to make the dangerous drugs known as “K2” or “Spice.” As Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, Grassley advanced the legislation, named for a young Iowa man who took his own life after using the drug.
“An 18-year-old constituent of mine tragically took his own life after using this drug,” Grassley said. “Other deaths around the country have been linked to it. It’s poison. Its manufacturing processes are largely unknown and 100 percent unregulated. In some instances, the drug is made on the floor of a household garage. People are spraying chemicals on a pile of dried plant clippings, putting that in an envelope and selling it to kids. Anybody who ingests this substance is risking their lives. A federal ban will go a long way in preventing this poison from causing any more harm.”
Grassley said the federal ban will prevent foreign manufacturers from getting their products into the United States in the first place. And a federal ban is necessary to get the material out of stores in all 50 states. The existing state bans vary from state to state and may not be broad enough to anticipate the chemical tweaks that cynical manufacturers use to evade the ban. “And the clock is ticking on how long the current federal regulatory ban will remain in place,” Grassley said. “Congress needs to finalize a permanent, comprehensive ban effective in all 50 states.”
Last year, Grassley introduced the David Mitchell Rozga Act, S. 605, named for the 18-year-old from Indianola who took his own life in June 2010, soon after using K2 purchased from his local shopping mall. Poison control centers and emergency rooms around the country are reporting skyrocketing cases of calls and visits resulting from K2 use, with physical effects including increased agitation, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures. A number of people across the country have acted violently while under the influence of the drug, dying or injuring themselves and others.
The Senate approved the Grassley legislation as part of legislation re-authorizing a key component of Food and Drug Administration funding. The Senate also approved bans of the chemicals used to make other dangerous synthetic drugs, “bath salts,” “2C-E” and others. The measures were included in an amendment from Sen. Rob Portman. “I appreciate Sen. Portman’s attention to this issue and work to move forward on a ban,” Grassley said.
The House of Representatives passed similar legislation last December. Grassley said he hopes the House will give final passage to the synthetic drug ban as soon as possible.
“The chemicals used to produce these drugs have no household use,” Grassley said. “The manufacturers and sellers of these products are engaging in a cynical money-making ploy that plays with human life. Until a final ban is in place, everyone should stay away from these products.”
It’s necessary for Congress to act to ban the chemicals used to make the new wave of synthetic drugs because the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s capacity to ban chemicals is limited. Grassley’s legislation treats K2 like other banned narcotics such as methamphetamine and cocaine. The same is true for the bills on “bath salts” and “2C-E.”
Fourth Annual Continuing Education Conference, to be held in Philadelphia on July 19-21, 2012, will feature nationally recognized lecturers in the field of obesity treatment.
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ — The 4th Annual Continuing Education (CME/CEU) Conference, The Science and Business of Weight Management for the New or Experienced Practitioner, beginning on July 19, 2012, in Philadelphia, will focus on the operational and treatment skills, techniques, and strategies healthcare professionals need to successfully open a new weight loss facility or enhance a current weight management program.
According to a May 2012 report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, about 42% of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030. Eric Finkelstein, lead author of the report, and co-authors estimate that 11% of the population will be severely obese by 2030.
Healthcare professionals are in the optimal position to improve the quality of life for individuals who are obese and overweight by reducing their weight and co-morbid conditions. As the obesity epidemic progresses, healthcare professionals should look toward educational forums to learn about the latest research advances, operational and treatment skills, techniques and strategies needed to successfully open a new weight management facility or enhance an existing program. To that end, the Annual Continuing Education Conference is pushing for education and providing an opportunity for networking and the exchange of essential knowledge.
Featured speakers at this year’s conference include: Dr. Robert F. Kushner; Judith S. Beck, PhD and Deborah Beck Busis, LSW; Thomas Wadden, PhD; John Baker, MD; John Hernried, MD; Susan Baker, MHA; and John Foreyt, MD, among others.
For more information about the 4th Annual Continuing Education (CME/CEU) Conference, The Science and Business of Weight Management for the New or Experienced Practitioner, visit www.WeightConference.com, or call Jennifer Eisenhofer at 888.519.1192, ext. 3012.
As you may know, the Supreme Court is in the process of deciding whether or not the federal government can require all Americans to purchase health insurance under the Constitution. This mandate, included in the President’s health care reform law, is an unprecedented form of federal action and government overreach.
When the health care reform law was pushed into law more than two years ago, we were told that the more Americans learned about it, the more they would like it. That has not happened. Americans remain strongly opposed to the health law and its expansion of the role of government in their lives.
Your input is important to me, and I want to hear your thoughts.
Remember that you can always send me a more detailed message with your thoughts or questions regarding any issue that is important to you by clicking here.
Thank you for taking the time to share your views with me. My staff and I always appreciate your feedback, and are here to help. If there is anything we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to give any of my offices a call. Contact information for each of them can be found at the bottom of this email.
Thank you for placing your trust in me. It is an honor to serve you.