Thanks so much to the member organizations and Arc board and staff members who joined the Executive Forum discussion yesterday!  I was so excited to meet some of the leaders whom I had not yet been introduced.  I look forward to seeing the Arc organizational chapters and partners on my tour this summer.

Just in case you had not seen it, I wanted to share with you a brief article from the AP about the ruling from a federal judge around Medicaid payments.  This decision matters to us because:

  1. It hopefully will ensure that folks with disabilities will continue to have real access to quality medical professionals and hospitals because they will be able to be paid on time.
  2. It also could increase the pressure on legislators and the Governor to negotiate a budget because it makes it even harder to pay all the Illinois’ required bills (pension payments, debt, schools, local governments and state employees).  We need to keep up that pressure!

Here is the detail:
THE RULING: by AP’s Michael Tarm: “A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Illinois isn’t in compliance with court orders to pay health care bills for low-income and other vulnerable groups as the state heads into a third year without a budget, though she did not order the state to pay $2 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills immediately and in full. U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow instead instructed attorneys for the state and for Medicaid recipients to negotiate an agreement on a level of payment that would ensure critical medical care isn’t jeopardized. David Chizewer, one of the lawyers for the recipients, said he hopes a payments deal could be hammered out within days. Lefkow’s three-page ruling in Chicago says state officials “have not lived up to their agreements” in the civil case that dates back to the 1990s, when Illinois first entered into a court-enforced consent decree requiring that it keep up Medicaid payments even through the kinds of financial crises the state is currently in. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled Legislature have remained deadlocked over a budget since Rauner took office in 2015. The burden of finding money from various state funds month-to-month and prioritizing payments has fallen to Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat.” Story here


The House Human Services Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing at 10:30 am today which will include key speakers on the negative impact of no budget on access to disability services especially quality direct support workers.  Shirley Perez, parent and Arc director of the Family Support Network and Ligas Family Advocates, is planning on speaking as well about the worker issue and funding for the DD grant programs.  If you want to watch, check out the live facebook feed from the They Deserve More Campaign.


Thank you to Halima Jabulani, Arc Leader and former board member, spoke at the No Cuts No Caps rally on Tuesday at the Thompson Center.  Thank you to the many other advocates who came out to raise our voices to support Medicaid. Check out all the photos on Facebook.

Thanks, Meg

Meg Cooch Signature
Meg Cooch
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)