I am meeting with Nancy Webster, Vice President of the Arc of the United States today!Here is a legislative update from Phil Milsk our Govermental Affairs Consultant. We are extremely concerned about the major cuts to Medicaid health care that was passed by the General Assembly last week.
Obviously you know they funded the State Operated Developmental Centers, but gave the Department flexibility to use all or part of the funds for transitioning residents into community settings.
On the bills, HB 2840 is the SMART Act. Some low lights of this bill are:
-limiting the MFTD children’s waiver by capping income at 500% FPL and adding family copayments by rule
-eliminating State funding for General Assistance (poor childless adults, many of whom have undiagnosed disabilities) and making GA medical assistance through local governments optional instead of mandatory
-eliminating the Illinois Cares Rx prescription drug assistance program for older adults and persons with disabilities
-reduce eligibility income maximum for Family Care from 185% of poverty to 133% of poverty.
-limit adult dental coverage to emergencies
-monthly prescription limit to 4 per month. Over 4 requires prior approval
-raise DON score from 29 to 37 for new Home Services applicants, likely meaning that some will unnecessarily go into nursing facilities or at least go without a PA that they need for daily activities.
-a Medicaid “rolls scrubbing” process using a private contractor that will supposedly save $350 million per year
HB 5007 creates the Cook County Medicaid waiver that implements Medicaid expansion for poor childless adults under the ACA a year early. This would cover, for example, former GA recipients. Cook County puts up the match. If the ACA is struck down by the Supreme Court, this waiver would not go forward.
SB 2194 increases taxes on cigarettes and some other tobacco products by $1.00 per pack to raise $700 million toward the Medicaid funding shortfall. It also creates an enhanced Hospital Assessment to raise an additional $100 million for the State and establishes a clear standard for property tax exemptions for non- profit hospitals.
SB 3261 deals with charity care provided by hospitals, much of the detail to be in rules adopted by the Attorney General. Limits are 200% of poverty in urban areas and 125% of poverty in rural areas. Eligibility for government assistance such as SNAP ( food stamps) is also an eligibility factor.
Other bills of note that passed both houses:
SB 820 is an HDA bill that makes changes to the EI Act, the most significant being an expansion of the State’s Interagency Coordinating Council membership.
HB 3826 changes the Guide Dog Access Act to the Service Animal Access Act and adds miniature horses trained as service animals and broadens the scope of their allowed service functions.
SB 278 codifies the Human Services Commission. (previously created by Executive Order). There is no sunset date for the commission in the bill. Membership and purpose is defined and initial report to the General Assembly and the Governor is due June 30, 2013.
SB 679 amends provisions of the Insurance Code concerning coverage for therapies for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders to provide that any changes in the DSM regarding ASD between April 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014, shall not effect coverage for those individuals.
HB 5602 allows police to orally share information with school officials about a student who is under a current police investigation for one or more specified offenses if there is a threat of imminent harm to students or employees. The purposes of this bill are stated to be to protect the school, serve the best interests of the student, and to ensure that the student receive services and supports.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423