Dear Neighbor:

On Thursday, the General Assembly approved landmark Illinois Medicaid reform legislation that preserves core health care services for the poor, pays overdue bills to local hospitals, doctors, dentists and other health care providers, and cuts $1.6 billion in unaffordable costs.

In addition to Medicaid reform, the legislature continues to work on public employee pension reform and the fiscal year 2013 Illinois budget before the legislature's May 31 adjournment.

Once the legislature adjourns, I will be back in Chicago to meet with you to discuss these reforms as well as the new Illinois budget at a "Coffee and Conversation" co-hosted by the Central Lakeview Merchants Association on June 12.

Additionally, I want to invite you to a women's health and resource fair that I am hosting with State Rep. Ann Williams on June 2, a seminar series for condominium associations on June 4, June 11 and June 18, and a senior health and resource fair in partnership with Weiss Memorial Hospital on June 28.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of my staff if we can ever be of assistance to you or your neighbors.

Very truly yours,

Sara Feigenholtz
State Representative
12th District

  • Medicaid Reform
  • Legislation Update
  • Women's Health & Resource Fair
  • Condominium Association Seminar Series
  • Coffee & Conversation
  • Senior Health & Resource Fair
  • Satellite Office Hours
  • Lakeview Pantry
  • Community Events

  • Medicaid Reform

    As you may know from my previous e-newsletters, the Illinois General Assembly has assumed a leading role to reform the Illinois Medicaid system and reduce unaffordable spending by $2.7 billion. As one of a four-member, bi-partisan legislative committee to identify these Medicaid spending reductions, we have worked for months to protect and preserve core health care services for the poor while squeezing out non-core costs.

    The legislation, Senate Bill 2840, the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together (SMART) Act, cuts $1.6 billion in state Medicaid spending. The bill passed the House on a 94-22 vote and the Senate on a 44-13 vote on Thursday and will head to the governor for final approval.

    Negotiations between legislators, hospitals, providers, health care organizations, advocates, and other key stakeholders agreed to the provider rate cuts, spending reductions, and utilization controls to reduce costs. The plan incorporates the Governor's reforms proposed last month.

    The SMART Act includes the following provider rate cuts:

    • No rate cuts for doctors, dentists, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), governmental hospitals, safety net hospitals, and critical access hospitals.
    • All other non-safety net and non-critical access hospitals receive a 3.5% rate cut.
    • Nursing homes receive a 10% rate cut on low need patients.
    • Nursing homes receive a 1% rate cut on high need patients.
    • Nursing homes receive a 1.7% reduction on capitol and support payments.

    The SMART Act caps access to some services, including limiting:
    • Adult eyeglasses to 1 pair every 2 years.
    • Adult dental to emergency services only.
    • Adult podiatry services for diabetics only.
    • Adult speech, hearing, and language therapy services to 20 visits per year.
    • Adult physical and occupational therapy to 20 visits per year.
    • Prescription drug coverage for adults and children to 4 medications per month unless authorized by a doctor.
    • Inpatient detoxification services to once every 60 days.

    The bill reduces eligibility for Family Care (which offers healthcare coverage to parents living with their children 18 years old or younger) to 133% of the federal poverty level. Additionally, the proposal eliminates dental grants, Illinois Cares Rx, and the state General Assistance program. Patients will also have increased co-pays for brand name prescription drugs, emergency room non-emergent care, and federal qualified health centers.

    To close the Medicaid funding gap, the House approved Senate Bill 2194 to increase the state tax on cigarettes from $.98 a pack to $1.98 a pack. The bill also approves increases on small cigars and other forms of tobacco products. This is expected to generate $700 million in new revenue, including $350 million in federal matching funds.

    Furthermore, other legislation, House Bill 5007 would allow the Cook County Health and Hospital System to enroll their patients in limited Medicaid to receive federal matching dollars. Cook County and the federal governments would split the cost 50/50 without costing the state a dime. The bill was approved by the General Assembly and sent to the governor.

    As painful as some of these Medicaid reforms are, they are necessary in order to ensure that affordable, accessible, and core healthcare services remain available to our most vulnerable neighbors. These are difficult decisions, but we are living in difficult times. These reforms will ensure both the long-term stability of the Medicaid system for those residents who depend upon it and the long-term efficiency for taxpayers who must fund the system.

    As always, I welcome your feedback as the legislature grapples with these difficult issues and thank you for your continued suggestions.

    Legislation Update

    Legislative Pay Freeze: For the fourth year in a row, I voted to take 12 unpaid furlough days and block pay raises for elected officials. If we are to ask Illinois families to sacrifice during these difficult economic times, we must be willing to do the same and lead by example. In addition to furlough days, House Bill 3188 eliminates cost of living increases in FY13 for members of the General Assembly, constitutional officers, and state's attorneys. The bill passed the General Assembly and is awaiting approval by the governor.

    Ending Legislative "Perks": The legislature approved House Bill 3810, of which I am a chief co-sponsor, to eliminate the controversial General Assembly Scholarship Program that has allowed lawmakers to award eight 1-year tuition waivers annually to students living in their districts. Over the years, the program has become ripe with abuse as there has been very little regulation or oversight to the program. I have not participated in this program in several years, as this program has never been funded and costs universities and taxpayers up to $13 million each year. The bill will be sent to the governor for final approval. More information on financial aid opportunities can be found on my website.

    Corporate Flexibility: My legislation to help entrepreneurs who seek to advance their business' triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit won the approval of the General Assembly and will be sent to the governor. Senate Bill 2897 creates a new, voluntary Illinois corporate form - a benefit corporation - that would give entrepreneurs the flexibility to build socially and environmentally sustainable businesses. Smart businesses that recognize both social profits as well as shareholder profits will be the companies that thrive and drive long-term economic growth in the 21st Century.

    Law Enforcement Eavesdropping: Currently, Illinois law imposes on any resident a felony penalty (punishable by up to 15 years in jail) to audio record a law enforcement officer in public, including recording unprofessional behavior. The House passed Senate Bill 1808 - which I co-sponsored - to overturn this ban and permit the recording of officers performing a public duty in a public space. The bill is awaiting concurrence by the Senate.

    Small Business Healthcare Cooperatives: I co-sponsored Senate Bill 2885 to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to access affordable health insurance by allowing them to voluntarily form non-profit cooperatives. The bill passed the Governor and will be sent to the governor for final approval.

    Internet Dating Safety: It is important that laws keep up with the times - as internet dating gains popularity, we have to make sure our laws are keeping up with the trend. Senate Bill 2545 helps to protect the safety of online daters by requiring dating websites to explicitly state whether or not their users undergo background checks. The bill passed the House and is awaiting concurrence in the Senate.

    Women's Health & Resource Fair

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    Condominium Association Seminar Series


    Coffee & Conversation


    Senior Health & Resource Fair

    Save the date!
    Senior Health & Resource Fair, in partnership with Weiss Memorial Hospital
    Thursday, June 28
    12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Weiss Memorial Hospital, WISE Senior Center, 4700 North Marine

    Highlights of this free event include information and services from:
  • Zumba classes
  • Health screenings
  • AP Lifeline/Relief Medical
  • Asian Human Services
  • Illinois Attorney General
  • Bethany Retirement Community
  • Brightview Care Center
  • Center on Halsted
  • Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services
  • Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer
  • Cook City Sherriff's Office
  • Cremation Society
  • Illinois Department on Aging
  • Kids in Danger
  • Mid-America Care
  • The Levy Center
  • Illinois State Treasurer's Office
  • Truman College
  • VetNet
  • Walgreens
  • White Crane Wellness Center
  • Illinois Citizens for Better Care
  • Illinois Department of Insurance
  • Lincoln Park Village
  • Alderman James Cappleman
  • Regional Transit Authority
  • Glen Healthcare Network

  • More information to follow - keep an eye on your e-mail or check my website for the latest updates!

    Satellite Office Hours

    *Please note the time change for 46th Ward satellite office hours.
    Satellite Office Hours/

    Lakeview Pantry

    Gary Garland, Executive Director of the Lakeview Pantry, is taking a different approach to ending hunger and poverty this summer. Gary is walking 50 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin to Chicago from June 21 to June 23 to celebrate his 50th birthday, raise awareness about hunger and poverty in Lakeview and Lincoln Park, and raise $50,000 to feed our neighbors in need. A strong community benefits all of us. I hope you share my enthusiasm for improving our community and helping Lakeview Pantry. Please click here to support for 50 for Food and to learn more about how you can help to fight hunger in our community.

    Community Events

    Old Town Merchants & Residents Association, Old Town al Fresco
    Monday, May 28 - Thursday, May 31
    Various locations

    From Monday, May 28th to Thursday, May 31st, fifteen Old Town restaurants will be offering specific patio dining specials as part of the year-long Living Old Town 2012 event series. During the four days, participating businesses will have patio-specific promotions ranging from half-priced wine bottles to dessert specials to group discounts. Some restaurants will bring in live entertainment to add more flavor to the dining experience. More information and a full list of events and special offers can be found on the Old Town website.

    46th Ward Open House
    Wednesday, May 30
    6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    46th Ward Service Office, 4544 North Broadway
    The Ward Office has a wonderful new collection of art from local artists. There will be some light refreshments and a chance to meet some of the artists. Ald. James Cappleman will also be available to respond to any of your questions or concerns.

    Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital, Community Meeting for Planned Development
    Wednesday, May 30
    7:00 p.m.
    Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Olsen Auditorium, 836 West Wellington

    Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital has scheduled a community meeting open to the public to present their plans for their Amended Planned Development.

    SausageFest Chicago
    Saturday, June 2 & Sunday, June 3
    12:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    North Sheffield between Addison and Waveland

    It's all about encased meat treats at this tasty and tantalizing fest held adjacent to iconic Wrigley Field. Returning to the Lake View neighborhood for its second year, SausageFest vendors will include several of the Windy City's best-known butcher/meat shops and restaurants. There's also arts & crafts, and back again will be an eclectic music lineup to make it the perfect early summer fest for lovers of food and tunes. The festival will benefit the Lake View Citizens' Council.

    44th Ward City Sticker Day
    Tuesday, June 5
    12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    44th Ward Service Office, 1057 West Belmont

    The sale of these stickers provides an opportunity for residents to conveniently purchase their 2012-2013 city stickers in the neighborhood, thus avoiding long lines at the City Clerk's Office or waiting for the stickers to come in the mail. Due to the high volume and processing requirement, the City Clerk's office requests that residents arrive by 5:00 p.m. (one hour before closing). The line will be closed promptly at 5:00 p.m.

    East Lake View Neighbors, Community Meeting
    Tuesday, June 5
    7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    19th District Police Station, 850 West Addison

    East Lake View Neighbors' mission is to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood through active citizenship, fostering a sense of community, and charitable works. Come out and let us know how we can better serve you and our neighborhood. East Lake View Neighbors represents the community bounded by Irving Park, Clark, Addison, and the lake.

    JUF News
    April 20, 2012
    Jewish community leaders participate in annual Springfield Mission

    GoPride Chicago
    April 24, 2012
    Letter to the Editor: Feigenholtz on HRC's All Children - All Families program

    Digital Journal
    April 30, 2012
    Illinois State Senator Champions Shark Fin Bill with Support from Shark Stewards

    May 2, 2012
    Proposed Illinois Medicaid cuts put pressure on patients, providers and pols

    Human Rights Campaign Backstory Blog
    May 2, 2012
    All Children All Families Initiative Helping Illinois

    Appleton Post Crescent
    May 3, 2012
    Shark fin raises concerns far from the ocean

    Adelo Times
    May 4, 2012
    Fund transfer sought to pay child care subsidies

    Rockford Register Star
    May 5, 2012
    Bill would avert break in Illinois child care funding

    Northwest Indiana Times
    May 5, 2012
    Lawmaker: Legislature to consider bill to restore day care funding

    May 6, 2012
    Shark fin raises concerns far from the ocean

    NBC Chicago
    May 7, 2012
    Day Care Providers Stress Urgency Over Funding Gap

    State Journal-Register
    May 8, 2012
    Our Opinion: Restore funds for child-care program

    The Daily Journal
    May 8, 2012
    State: Fund transfer sought to pay child care subsidies

    Progress Illinois
    May 8, 2012
    Dwindling Resources For Low-Income Illinois Parents

    Chicago Tribune
    May 8, 2012
    Child care cuts may be averted

    Galesburg Register-Mail
    May 9, 2012
    State-funded child care in jeopardy

    Chicago Pride
    May 9, 2012
    Obama backs same-sex marriage

    CNN iReport
    May 10, 2012
    State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Phone Clinic Hosted by the Citizens Utility Board

    My Web Times
    May 11, 2012
    'It's a really bad situation'

    Press Release
    May 11, 2012
    Legislature Approves Measure to Help Illinois Entrepreneurs Target Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit

    Illinois Observer
    May 11, 2012
    Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Wins House Approval of Green Business Bill

    Rockford Register Star
    May 12, 2012
    Rockford adoptee among many to use Illinois' open birth record law

    Northwest Indiana Times
    May 12, 2012
    Cal City legislator urges officials, residents to push for day care centers' funding rescue

    Illinois Issues Blog
    May 15, 2012
    House to take up new spending for childcare providers

    Natural Resources Defense Council Blog
    May 15, 2012
    Update: Illinois Shark Fin Ban Clears General Assembly

    State Journal-Register
    May 16, 2012
    Illinois House OKs money for child-care program

    Chicago Tribune
    May 18, 2012
    Quinn signs bill to fund child care

    May 20, 2012
    Obama and gays: a marriage of convenience

    The Republic
    May 21, 2012
    Governor's Medicaid bill cuts nearly $1.4B from program, leaves cigarette tax for later

    State Journal-Register
    May 21, 2012
    Quinn dismisses gambling as shiny distraction

    Illinois Statehouse News
    May 21, 2012
    Quinn to IL lawmakers: Focus on pension, Medicaid reform

    Washington Examiner
    May 21, 2012
    Quinn's Medicaid bill makes nearly $1.4B in cuts

    Chillicothe Times Bulletin
    May 21, 2012
    Governor urges lawmakers to act swiftly on Medicaid and pension restructuring

    Chillicothe Times Bulletin
    May 22, 2012
    House approves ban on legislative scholarships

    Chillicothe Tribune
    May 22, 2012
    House approves ban on legislative scholarships

    Crain's Chicago Business
    May 22, 2012
    State Democrats offer $240 million in Medicaid cuts

    Illinois Issues Blog
    May 22, 2012
    Medicaid plan not quite ready

    Quincy Herald-Whig
    May 22, 2012
    Medicaid bill, cigarette tax hike to be next big vote for Illinois lawmakers

    Olney Daily Mail
    May 22, 2012
    Lawmakers consider expanded tobacco tax hike to fund Medicaid

    Quincy Herald-Whig
    May 23, 2012
    Medicaid bill stalls; sponsors remain optimistic

    The News-Gazette
    May 23, 2012
    Bill to cut Medicaid spending stalls over 'technical' problem

    Vermillion County First
    May 23, 2012
    Governor's Medicaid Proposal Awaits Action

    Alton Daily News
    May 23, 2012
    "Epic" Week Not Materializing

    Press Release
    May 24, 2012
    Legislature Votes to Eliminate Controversial Legislative Scholarship Program

    Belleville News-Democrat
    May 24, 2012
    Illinois Senate, House votes to slash Medicaid

    Chicago Sun Times
    May 24, 2012
    Illinois House passes bill to cut $1.6 billion from Medicaid

    Evanston Now
    May 24, 2012
    Medicaid cuts come with catch

    Pekin Times
    May 24, 2012
    Illinois lawmakers pass pieces of a Medicaid overhaul

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    May 24, 2012
    IL lawmakers slash health care for poor

    Daily American News
    May 25, 2012
    Health care for poor slashed by lawmakers

    Chicago Tribune
    May 25, 2012
    Illinois legislature passes deep health care cuts

    Crain's Chicago Healthcare
    May 25, 2012
    Illinois lawmakers slash Medicaid

    Decatur Tribune
    May 25, 2012
    Governor Quinn issues statement on General Assembly passage of Medicaid rescue legislation

    NBC Chicago
    May 25, 2012
    Illinois Health Care Vote Gets Closer

    NBC Chicago
    May 25, 2012
    Legislature OKs Medicaid cuts; no vote yet on cigarette tax

    phone: (773) 296-4141