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Quick Hit
Fri Mar 28, 2014

GUEST POST: The Affordable Care Act – Four Steps Forward for Women’s Health

The following was written by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9) and University of Maine Professor Amy Fried.

March 31st marks the end of the first open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act – and also the end of Women’s History Month.  It’s a fitting coincidence because the Affordable Care Act is a historic step forward for America’s women. Actually, at least four steps forward.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Mar 5, 2014

Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Social Issues

The four Illinois GOP gubernatorial hopefuls faced questions about a number of social issues at a Tuesday night debate, ranging from the death penalty and women’s reproductive rights to helping ex-offenders reintegrate into society. Progress Illinois provides some highlights from the forum.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Feb 7, 2014

Economists, Health Policy Experts Weigh In On The CBO Obamacare Report

In the coming years, some Americans will voluntarily reduce their work hours or decide not to be employed at all as a result of the health coverage available under the Affordable Care Act, a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office shows. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the report, which has prompted strong reaction from both supporters and opponents of the health reform law.

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.”