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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:12pm
Mon Oct 7, 2013

Census Bureau: Poverty Rate Remains High In Illinois

Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Illinois' poverty rate continued to hover near 15 percent last year.

According to the new American Community Survey data, 14.7 percent Illinoisans, or 1.85 million people, were living in poverty in 2012. That's not much of a statistical change from 2011, when 15 percent of people, or 1.88 million, were in poverty.

At the national level, the poverty rate also remained fixed last year at 15 percent, impacting some 46.5 million Americans.

"Both nationally and in Illinois, more people were working over the course of the year, and that didn't translate into decreased poverty," said Amy Terpstra, associate director of the Heartland Alliance's Social IMPACT Research Center. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:54pm
Thu Oct 3, 2013

Statewide Campaign Meant To Help Illinois Students Obtain Health Insurance Launches

In an effort to encourage more young people to obtain health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act, the Illinois PIRG Education Fund kicked off a statewide campaign Thursday meant to inform students about the law as well as provide tips on finding the right coverage. 

The Illinois PIRG Education Fund, which conducts research and public education on behalf of consumers, also unveiled a new "Illinois Health Insurance 101" guide to help young people navigate the state's online health insurance marketplace, called Get Covered Illinois, which opened Tuesday along with other exchanges nationwide. The statewide insurance marketplaces are a key component of President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law.

"Many are saying that young people don't care. That we don't want access to health insurance. That we don't understand it," said Kathy Waligora with the community health non-profit Ever Thrive Illinois, which helped launch the educational campaign at an event at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). "The truth is we get it...[We] do want health insurance. We actually do understand the importance of being insured."

Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:18am
Wed Oct 2, 2013

Health Care Advocates Celebrate The Launch Of Illinois' Health Insurance Marketplace

Tuesday was a big day for Illinoisans, and Americans across the country, without health coverage who were able to start comparison shopping on the new statewide health insurance exchanges, one of the key aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:05pm
Tue Oct 1, 2013

After Senate Rejects Conference, House Looks To Fund Government In Piecemeal Fashion

As promised, the Senate voted to reject the House's request for conference. Now, the GOP-led House is looking to fund the government in a piecemeal fashion.

The Senate voted Tuesday along party lines in a 54-46 vote to reject the House's request for conference, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said would happen last night after the government shutdown.

As a result, the House is reportedly looking to reopen the government in a piecemeal manner by passing small continuing resolutions (C.R.) to address some of the now-shuttered programs and agencies. The House is looking to pass C.R.s that would fund the Department of Veteran's Affairs, the National Parks Service and operations for the District of Columbia.

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PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
1:34am
Tue Oct 1, 2013

U.S. Government Shutdown: How Did We Get Here And What's Next?

The U.S. government has shut down. Now what? Progress Illinois takes a look at how we got here and what could happen over the next several hours and days as leaders in the House and Senate refuse to give in to the other's demands.