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Quick Hit
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4:42pm
Fri Mar 28, 2014

GUEST POST: The Affordable Care Act – Four Steps Forward for Women’s Health

The following was written by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9) and University of Maine Professor Amy Fried.

March 31st marks the end of the first open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act – and also the end of Women’s History Month.  It’s a fitting coincidence because the Affordable Care Act is a historic step forward for America’s women. Actually, at least four steps forward.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:19pm
Wed Mar 26, 2014

Breaking Down Quinn's State Budget Address

During his state budget address Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn said he wants to keep in place Illinois' temporary income tax hike that is set to expire in January. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the governor's proposal and offers some expert reaction to Quinn's election-year budget speech.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
8:28pm
Mon Mar 24, 2014

Ahead Of Quinn's Budget Speech, Child Welfare Advocates Warn Against More Cuts To Vital Services

As the expiration of the state's temporary income tax hike approaches and budget cuts loom, family and child welfare advocates say Springfield lawmakers — and candidates running in November's General Election — should spell out what they will do to address health disparities among kids in Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:37pm
Thu Mar 20, 2014

Chicago's Food Deserts Are A 'Civil Rights Issue', Experts Say

While the population of food deserts may have arguably decreased over recent years in Chicago, a number of obstacles still remain when it comes to expanding access to healthy foods in the city, according to panelists who discussed the topic Thursday afternoon.

The Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hosted the talk in Chicago to hear from public, private and non-profit leaders who work on food access issues. Back in 2011, the committee issued its own report about Chicago food deserts, a problem it says must be addressed as a civil rights issue.

Food deserts are communities that lack healthy, fresh food options. In Chicago, African-American and Latino communities tend to face the greatest food access challenges. The Emanuel administration has worked to expand food access by bringing in new grocery stores, additional farmers markets and more produce carts, among other efforts.

But panelists at the discussion, held at Kennedy-King College on Chicago's South Side, noted that poverty and high prices for healthy foods are big barriers standing in the way of eliminating food deserts. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:40pm
Wed Mar 19, 2014

Schakowsky Speaks Out Against Proposals To Expand Medicare Means Testing

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9) says Medicare beneficiaries would have to shoulder a severe financial burden if additional means testing is introduced into the program, as some federal proposals have recommended.

The congresswoman on Wednesday jointly released 150,000 petition signatures against means testing Medicare with national groups including the Medicare Rights Center and Social Security Works. The petition calls on President Barack Obama "to drop support of Medicare cuts," according to the groups.

"At least one in five seniors are already cutting back on health care because they can't afford it," Schakowksy said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning. "Shifting more costs onto their shoulders is not the answer, especially when there are better solutions."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:22pm
Tue Mar 4, 2014

Mental Health Advocates Discuss Latest Potential Threat To Chicago Clinics

Chicagoans who attended a recent town hall meeting about mental health services are worried about what will happen to the city's existing mental health clinics and its clients after Medicaid managed care is expanded in Illinois.

In 2012, six of Chicago's 12 mental health clinics were shut down. And city residents seeking community mental health services might soon face another potential blow, according to speakers at Thursday night's discussion, hosted by the Mental Health Movement coalition at the United Electrical Workers Hall.

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