Health, Medicine & Nutrition
What the ACA means to Iowans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by American Cancer Society   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 12:22

As I’m sure you know by now, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

It was an exciting day for people with cancer, and those who care about them, because the decision protects policies that ensure they can access quality, affordable health care.

In Iowa, thanks to the health care law, already:

  • More than 20,000 young people have gained coverage;
  • Nearly two million residents with private insurance no longer have to worry about lifetime limits on their health coverage;
  • 611,000 Iowans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing.

And it just gets better in the years to come. By January 2014:

  • Nearly one million people may benefit from a health care exchange, which provides individuals and small businesses with affordable, quality health plans;
  • Insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against people who have been sick in the past, a benefit already extended to children.

One thing is for sure -- access to care saves lives. ACS research shows that people without health coverage are more likely than those with private insurance to be diagnosed with cancer at its more advanced stages and are less likely to survive the disease.  Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, it is time for all of our elected officials in Iowa to work together in a bipartisan effort to implement the health care law as strongly as possible for cancer patients, survivors and their families.

In Case You Missed It: Schilling’s Plan for Quality, Convenient, Patient-Centered, and Affordable Health Care PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 09:45

Moline, Illinois - The Supreme Court last week announced its ruling to uphold the President’s health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in its entirety, ruling that its individual mandate is a tax.  Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17), in an effort to help residents of the 17th District stay informed and engaged, created a Health Care Resources webpage with information and seeking feedback on the changes to the American health care system constituents would like to see. 

On Monday June 25, prior to the decision being made public, Schilling also released his detailed plan for true health care reform: 

"Before Independence Day, the Supreme Court is expected to announce its ruling on the President’s health care reform law.  The court could decide to uphold the entire law, strike it down entirely, or strike parts of it – parts like Medicaid expansion or the individual mandate, which requires nearly every American to buy health insurance.

"Regardless of the court’s decision on the law, I want to work in a bipartisan and transparent way to replace it with common-sense, step-by-step policies that actually lower the cost of health care, preserve Medicare for our children and grandchildren, and put patients and their doctors back in charge of health care decisions.  There’s significant support for the law’s repeal, and there’s also widespread agreement that the American health care system is broken and in need of reform.  

"Simply put, our work doesn’t stop if this law is taken off the books.

"We should take up-or-down votes on individual improvements to our health care system – particularly those that seek to lower costs and ultimately make care more affordable and more convenient. It’s important that folks with preexisting conditions be able to find coverage, for example.  And in a tough economy like this, I agree that young adults should be able to find affordable coverage.  Individuals should be able to buy health insurance plans across state lines, with the goal of increasing competition and driving down costs.  We should vote to advance common-sense liability protections, stemming defensive medicine and lowering the cost of care.  We should also vote on a plan to ensure Medicare physicians won’t see their reimbursement rates cut.  This issue must be resolved to ensure physicians aren’t pushed out of Medicare, creating serious access problems for seniors across the country.  

"We can also vote on bills that I introduced – like the Charity Care Tax Deduction Act, for example, that would provide a tax deduction to physicians who administer charity care for those can’t afford health insurance, or the Enhanced Veteran Health Care Experience Act that would allow veterans to access the health care they need in their hometowns with their home doctors.

"Another solution to lower health care costs is the bipartisan Health Flexible Spending Arrangements Improvement Act, which passed the House and would allow 35 million Americans to save unused money in their flexible spending accounts for future use on unexpected medical costs.  The current “use it or lose it” policy is hurting American families.

"Unless the court throws out the entire law, I will continue working to repeal whatever’s left and apply any savings to a deficit reduction plan.  We can’t tax, spend, or regulate our way into a stronger economy and better health care, nor can we prepare ourselves for future threats to our national security while taking a meat cleaver to the Department of Defense’s budget.  

"Over the last year and a half, the House has voted 30 times on different bills to repeal, defund, or dismantle the health care reform law.  Most recently we voted to repeal its tax on medical devices.  This is a tax that would be harmful to companies like Cook Medical, which has been hoping to expand its operations in Canton.  The medical device tax would destroy jobs in an industry that employs more than 400,000 Americans throughout the country – 70 in Canton alone.  We have also voted to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB); a board of unelected bureaucrats tasked with saving money by restricting access to health care for Medicare beneficiaries.  I voted to repeal this board to keep health care decisions between patients and their doctor.  

"The bottom line is that I want to make quality health care more convenient and more affordable.  I want you to be able to visit the doctor of your choosing and be given the care that your doctor thinks is best.  

"Every American is impacted by the health care reform law, and will be affected by the Supreme Court’s decision.  We need to continue to work to ensure folks in Illinois and across the country have access to health care that’s high quality, patient-centered, convenient, and affordable, but the best ideas often don’t come from Washington DC, they come from the folks I represent.  Please contact my office at or (202) 225-5905 with your ideas to improve care."

# # #

To send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click here

The American Red Cross Blood reminds eligible donors that the need for blood is constant. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 09:21
The American Red Cross appreciates the many donors who have given blood since announcing an
emergency need for all blood types in late June. However, the Red Cross blood supply remains at
low levels and eligible donors of all types continue to be needed.

Vacations, summer schedules, and the mid-week Independence Day holiday have reduced the number of
donations. But the need is constant. Approximately every two seconds a patient in the United States needs blood.

The American Red Cross’ Live Life. Give Life. summer-long campaign is helping to raise
awareness about the constant need for blood and encourage regular donations. Presenting
donors between May 21 and September 5, 2012 will be entered automatically into the Live
Life. Give Life. promotion for a chance to win prize packages from Visit to learn more.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an
appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for
patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required
at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states),
weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High
school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and
weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters;
supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides
international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross
is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American

Live Life. Give Life.

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.™

Obamacare uphled, Rural America benefits PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Elisha Smith   
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:35

By John Crabtree, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The Center for Rural Affairs has said from the beginning, the Affordable Care Act is a perfectly legal response to the health care and health insurance challenges facing millions of Americans and rural Americans in particular. The Supreme Court’s ruling will continue the already existing benefits and protections helping young adults, Medicare beneficiaries, children, and every one of us from unreasonable health insurance rate increases.

The Supreme Court decision also authorizes states to implement the system that allows Americans to purchase affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage beginning in 2014. For those of us living in rural America, where we are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, and where local economies are even more dependent on self-employment and small business, this ruling is a true victory.

It is now time to move forward in implementing the Affordable Care Act and the federal Department of Health and Human Services as well as the states should take action to fully implement the Act and immediately establish health insurance marketplaces with serious consumer protections and a robust governing board. Congress should also continue investing in access to medical professionals in medically underserved rural areas and maintaining rural hospitals.

Now that the legal wrangling is complete, it’s time to bind up the nation’s political wounds and get about the business of resolving the health care challenges facing the nation and its people.

Health Care Coalition Supporters Tell Governor Quinn: "The Waiting is Over - The Supreme Court has spoken." PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jim Duffett   
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:32
Urge Governor to Sign Executive Order Implementing Illinois’ Insurance Marketplace (Exchange)
Champaign, IL – The Campaign for Better Health Care today sent a letter signed by 109 diverse organizations throughout the state, representing over 2.5 million Illinoisans, to Governor Quinn calling on him to sign an Executive Order to implement Illinois’ health insurance marketplace (exchange) immediately.  Illinois small businesses and Illinois families are tired of you waiting.  Illinois needs a state insurance exchange not a federal exchange.
“Now that the Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare, it is time for Governor Quinn to take action, and for the rest of political establishment get on board and work to make the Illinois Insurance Exchange the best one in the nation. We are tired of continuous political posturing in Springfield,” commented Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care.
Duffett continues, "the people of illinois have waited for two years for the General Assembly to take action in establishing an Illinois Insurance Exchange - they failed.  Now it is up to you to show the people of Illinois that your walk across Northern IL was not done in vain.  You must stand with small businesses and the consumers and not the insurance industry.  Any further delay will play in the hands of the insurance industry".
A major provision of Obamacare is that states must develop a competitive health care marketplace, or insurance exchange.  In Illinois, this marketplace will eventually enroll over 1 million Illinoisans.  Those that already have insurance they like and want to keep may never need to use the marketplace - but for those that do need to purchase insurance, the marketplace website will be fast and easy to use, and will let consumers make honest comparisons among plans to choose the ones that best fit their needs and budgets.  This marketplace will be a lifesaver for small businesses, sole proprietors, and the uninsured.
“Unfortunately, the Illinois General Assembly has chosen not to take legislative action this past legislative session, letting down  hundreds of thousands of uninsured Illinoisans, small businesses, and individuals, and jeopardizing their peace of mind,” commented Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care, the organization sponsoring the letter initiative.  Duffett continued, “This marketplace will provide access to health care - in turn providing security for families and strengthening the middle class.  Governor Quinn needs to show leadership and take action now.”
Unless action is taken, Illinois will be unable to access over $200 million in federal funds available for the development and implementation of the new Illinois marketplace.
The letter states, “We believe Governor’s Quinn’s Executive Order must have built-in, well-defined principles and standards protecting Illinois consumers and small businesses.  This marketplace must serve the interest of the uninsured, small businesses, and consumers and not the financial interest of the insurance industry.  So much is on the line for making sure that the new Marketplace Governing Board is independent and free of conflict of interest.  Specifically:
  1. No insurance industry representatives on the governing board of the new marketplace, so as to avoid undue influence on the development or following of the rules for operating it;
  2. The board must have the right to negotiate with insurers and develop real cost containment measures;
  3. The insurance industry stands to gain over a million new customers from the development of the marketplace. Since they will profit from it, the financing of the marketplace should come from their massive reserves of over $30 BILLION dollars – not from taxing the small businesses and consumers.
"Health care reform has already proven to be morally, financially, and spiritually successful for millions of Illinoisans already.  The Illinois Marketplace will begin to provide health care access to a million other Illinoisans, a moral imperative.  The delay in moving forward is unacceptable.  We call upon Governor Quinn to show his moral committment to the people of Illinois by signing an Executive Order to establish Illinois' marketplace," said Rev. Dr. Moss III, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy.  Like all Illinoisans, we are working hard to keep our heads above water in this sluggish economy.  The cost of health care or lack there of is a major cost factor for us. We are anxiously awaiting the establishment of the marketplace, as it will have a strong positive impact on businesses and consumers. But we cannot wait until next session for the Illinois General Assembly to take action.  That is why we are urging Governor Quinn to sign an Executive Order now establishing Illinois' marketplace," stated Dan Callahan, owner of a small business, Gregg Florist in Peoria.
Once an Executive Order is in place, Illinois can begin moving forward and then the Illinois General Assembly will need to codify components of the Executive Order during the Fall Veto Session, after the November election.
Due to legislative roadblocks, the governors of both Rhode Island and New York have already issued Executive Orders to create the competitive health care marketplace in their states.  "We believe Illinois needs to follow these examples in putting our state on the right track towards ensuring access to quality, affordable health care for all Illinoisans," concluded Duffett.
# # #
About the Campaign for Better Health Care
We believe that accessible, affordable, quality health care is a basic human right for ALL people.  The Campaign for Better Health Care is the state’s largest coalition representing over 300 diverse organizations, organizing to help create and advocate for an accessible, quality health care system for all.  For more information, visit

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