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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Tue Dec 10, 2013

U.S. Reps. Davis, Roskam Discuss The Future Of Medicare (VIDEO)

As the baby boomers are rapidly aging out of the workforce, the nation’s Medicare program is not financially secure enough to handle the increase in health care beneficiaries, according to a group of panelists who discussed reform proposals for the social safety net Monday night.

“The issue with Medicare is, we need to find more resources and we need to find better ways of delivering care,” said Cheryl Matheis, national senior policy strategist for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). “We need to kind of hit a balance, but nobody has agreed on what the actual balance should be in order to make [the program] sound for the long term.”

Attempting to address what challenges the Medicare program faces and potential solutions for those challenges, Matheis was joined for the panel discussion by U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) and Danny K. Davis (D, IL-7), and Richard Baehr, chief political correspondent of the daily conservative online magazine, American Thinker. The Union League Club of Chicago, at which the panel was held, and WLS 890 AM, a broadcast radio station in Chicago, sponsored the event.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Dec 4, 2013

U.S. Rep. Schakowsky, Fellow Lawmakers Take Aim At ALEC's Upcoming Agenda

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is once again under fire from critics, including U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9), following new revelations published Tuesday in The Guardian about the large conservative group.

The Guardian's report, based on a number of leaked ALEC documents, show that the group is reportedly creating a new 501(c)(4) social welfare organization called the "Jeffersonian Project." Critics say this new sister group is being formed in an attempt to skirt IRS rules that currently prevent ALEC from lobbying due to its 501(c)(3) charitable organization status. As a 501(c)(4) group, the Jeffersonian Project would be able to lobby, while also raking in anonymous donations.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI,2), who spoke on an press call along with Schakowsky Wednesday about the recent ALEC news, argued that despite the group's current 501(c)(3) status, it's already one of largest lobbying organizations in the nation.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Nov 26, 2013

Fewer Illinois Children Lack Health Insurance, New National Report Shows

As the national debate over health insurance rages on, a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families has revealed some sunny news for Illinois.

Illinois had the fourth-lowest rate of uninsured kids in 2012, making the state a national leader when it comes to getting children enrolled in health care coverage.

The number of Illinois children with health insurance increased by nearly 40,000 between 2010 and 2012, reducing the state's uninsured rate for those under the age of 18 to 3.3 percent. Overall, the children's uninsured rate in Illinois dropped by 1.2 percentage points between 2010 and 2012, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).

“Illinois residents and its leaders should be proud of the progress we’ve made improving children’s coverage,” Andrea Kovach with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law said in a statement. “And we should be excited about more of their parents getting coverage for the first time as a result of new coverage choices under the Affordable Care Act. When every member of the family has coverage, kids are more likely to get regular preventive care to keep them healthy and see a health care provider sooner when they are sick.”

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
Thu Nov 21, 2013

South Siders March To U Of Chicago Hospital In Demand Of A Trauma Center

More than 200 demonstrators marched down Cottage Grove Ave. on Chicago's South Side Wednesday night to the University of Chicago Medical Center. The protesters demanded the hospital open a Level 1 trauma center.

While chanting “how can you ignore while we’re dying at your door,” the group left two mock coffins covered in flowers across outside of the hospital on 58th Street. The demonstration came just hours after a state hearing hosted by state Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) to discuss the lack of a trauma center on Chicago's South Side. Calling the area a “trauma desert,” community groups and activists say a South Side trauma center would save lives. 

“People wouldn’t have to travel as far,” said Zan Adams, co-founder of RISE Chicago, a member group of the Trauma Center Coalition, and organizer of the demonstration.

Quick Hit
Thu Nov 14, 2013

Guest Post: City’s Mammogram Program To Stay Open, Still More Work To Be Done To Expand Access

The following post comes from the Public Health Organization.

The Public Health Organization (PHO) applauds the City’s decision to keep the mammogram program open and provide additional funding to Roseland Community Hospital to expand mammography services to low-income, uninsured women.
"I continue to champion breast cancer screenings, because it saves lives! Next year's budget contains $2.2 million for breast cancer screenings maintaining the City's current funding levels for mammography services despite the loss of a $300,000 state grant. I encourage both women and men to get screened and I’m happy these services will be made available to an additional 1,500 uninsured patients at Roseland Community Hospital,” Alderman Carrie Austin shared in a statement.