Health Care

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:39pm
Wed May 6

Report Outlines State Revenue Options To Avoid Deep Budget Cuts

Researchers from the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children have put forward a "broad range of available revenue options" state lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner could adopt to avoid deep budget cuts to crucial programs and services in the upcoming fiscal year.

new report from the center details those possible revenue solutions, which would come through reforming the state's income, business and sales taxes as well as taxes on alcohol, nicotine and sugary beverages.

Rauner's proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts July 1, does not call for increased taxes, but, instead, proposes significant cuts to higher education, Medicaid and other essential services as a means to tackle the state's fiscal problems.

The Responsible Budget Coalition, comprised of about 200 groups working to protect vital supports for Illinois families and communities, has called Rauner's proposed budget cuts "morally reprehensible."

"The Governor has argued that he must make cuts that damage our communities to balance the budget. This report debunks that myth," said David Lloyd, director of the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children, a Responsible Budget Coalition member. "The Governor and lawmakers have another choice: they can avoid cuts by choosing new revenue to protect the future of our state."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:45am
Fri Apr 24

Trauma Center Activists Hold Overnight Vigil Outside U Of C President's Home (VIDEO)

Protesters held an overnight candlelight vigil outside the home of University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer as part of the ongoing campaign for an adult trauma center on Chicago's South Side. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the push for expanded trauma care services in the city.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:34pm
Tue Apr 14

LGBT Women Face Many Barriers To Economic Security, Report Finds

Lesbian, bisexual and transgender or LGBT adult women in America face unique obstacles to achieve basic economic security and are among the most likely to live in poverty, according to a recent report by the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project.

The report cites employment discrimination as well as barriers to health care and family supports as some of the key challenges threatening LGBT women and their economic well-being.

America's more than 5 million LGBT women are at increased risk for financial insecurity due to stigma, discrimination as well as anti-LGBT and outdated policies, according to the researchers.

"Even at a time when the public is showing increased understanding and acceptance of LGBT people and their relationships, the unique concerns and struggles of LGBT women are largely absent in the national conversation," said Laura Durso, director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. "Women who are LGBT have the same concerns as other women, but they face added challenges and worries -- not just because of their gender, but also because of who they are and whom they love."

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
3:16pm
Thu Mar 26

Op-Ed: Some Good, Some Bad In Obama Administration Plan To Protect Antibiotics

The following comes from Dev Gowda, an advocate with Illinois PIRG.

Plan fails to adequately address growing public health threat

Tomorrow the National Task Force for Combating Resistant Bacteria will release a five-year action plan to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. While the plan will take several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it will miss the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

President Obama gets an 'A' for tackling this problem from multiple angles. But in terms of addressing the biggest problem, the troubling overuse and misuse of antibiotics on large factory farms, the administration gets an incomplete.

This lack of action to address the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture is notable in the face of recent commitments by several major retailers to curtail the purchase of meat raised with the routine use of the drugs.  Earlier this month, for instance, McDonald's announced it will phase out chicken raised with medically important antibiotics in its U.S. restaurants.  This policy will likely do more to confront the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture than the policies recommended in today's plan. 

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
5:47pm
Tue Mar 24

Chicago West Side Residents Discuss Potential Impact Of Rauner's Budget

State Rep. Arthur Turner (D-Chicago) called Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget a "doomsday situation" that is compounded by a $1.6 billion shortfall from former Gov. Pat Quinn's underfunded FY2015 budget.

In February, Rauner proposed sweeping cuts to the state's Medicaid program, higher education, mass transit and government pensions to address the state's financial woes. The cuts aimed to combat a $6 billion deficit for fiscal year 2016, which begins in July 1, and the state's $111 billion pension crisis. But critics of Rauner's budget plan say those cuts adversely affect the poor and middle class families.

"It's gonna be tough," said Turner, who held a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss the impact Rauner's proposed cuts could have on the state. More than 30 residents attended the meeting held at Mt. Sinai Community Institute, 2653 W. Ogden Ave.

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