Health Care

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:34pm
Fri Sep 19

Chicago Faith Leaders Sing, Pray For A South Side Trauma Center (VIDEO)

More than 50 faith leaders and Chicago activists sang and prayed for a South Side adult trauma center at a rally late Thursday afternoon at the University of Chicago medical campus. Progress Illinois was there for the demonstration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:44pm
Wed Sep 17

Census Bureau: Child Poverty Rate Falls Substantially, Number Of Uninsured Ticks Down

America's poverty rate declined from 15 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent last year, marking the first statistically significant decrease since 2006, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

An increase in the number of year-round, full-time workers helped lower the overall poverty rate, Census Bureau officials said. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of men and women working full time, year-round with earnings increased by 1.8 million and 1.0 million, respectively, the figures showed. In 2013, a total of 60.8 million men and 45.1 million worked full-time.

The child poverty rate also dropped significantly from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013, while the share of uninsured Americans also fell slightly during the same time.

Despite bright spots in the new Census reports on income, poverty and health insurance, Robert Greenstein with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the economy strengthened too slowly in 2013 "to improve the living standards of many middle- and low-income Americans." Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:32am
Wed Sep 10

Public Interest Group Gives Republican IL Lawmakers 'Poor' Marks On Legislative Scorecard

A new legislative scorecard highlights just how politically polarized the Illinois state legislature is on social and economic justice issues.

Citizen Action/Illinois, a public interest organization and a progressive political coalition, released its 98th General Assembly scorecard last week, and no state Republican legislator scored higher than a "poor" rating.

Overall, 45 state representatives and 19 state senators, all of whom are Republicans, received "poor" scores between 10 percent to 49 percent. Meanwhile, no Democratic state lawmaker scored lower than 50 percent.

The scorecard, which gauges "each official’s dedication to social and economic justice," is based on a selection of significant votes taken by the 98th General Assembly, which started in January 2013 and ends after the upcoming fall veto session. Citizen Action/Illinois analyzed 25 votes in the House and 23 votes in the Senate on legislation involving health care, education, consumer protection, civil rights and other topics. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:05pm
Fri Sep 5

Report: Obamacare Curbed Taxpayer Subsidies For Health Insurer Executive Pay

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) sharply reduced taxpayer subsidies last year for executive pay at the nation's 10 largest publicly held health insurance companies, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Washington-D.C.-based think tank.

Last year, an ACA provision took effect that put a $500,000 cap on the tax deductibility of health insurer executive compensation. Previously, the companies had a $1 million limit on the deductibility of executive pay from federal corporate income taxes. Now, health insurance companies are allowed to deduct only up to $500,000 in combined performance-based and salary pay per employee each year.

As a result of the deductibility limits under the health reform legislation known as Obamacare, the country's top 10 health insurers saw their collective corporate taxes increase by an estimated $72 million in 2013, according to the report, "Executive Excess 2014: The Obamacare Prescription for Bloated CEO Pay." Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:53pm
Wed Sep 3

Environmental, Industry Groups Sound Off On Updated Illinois Fracking Rules

Progress Illinois rounds up some of the reaction to the state's recently-released rules governing hydraulic fracturing in Illinois.