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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.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
7:09pm
Thu Sep 19, 2013

Really, Koch Brothers? Agenda To Take Down Obamacare Hits A New Low (VIDEO)

Generation Opportunity, a youth advocacy group that is heavily bankrolled by the notorious Koch Brothers (Charles and David), launched an ad campaign Thursday meant to "to highlight alternatives to expensive and creepy Obamacare exchanges."

But what is creepy about the #OptOut campaign are the two new ads that feature a weird-looking Uncle Sam performing a pap smear and rectal exam. No joke.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:45pm
Thu Sep 12, 2013

Illinois Republicans Vote To Block Affordable Care Act Subsidies

Six Illinois Republicans voted to block health insurance subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until there is a system set up to verify income and other eligibility criteria for applicants. The No Subsidies Without Verification Act, HR 2775 (PDF), passed by a 235-191 vote in the U.S. House Wednesday with yes votes coming from U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL,6), Rodney Davis (R-IL,13), Randy Hultgren (R-IL,14), John Shimkus (R-IL,15), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL,16), and Aaron Schock (R-IL, 18). Only five Democrats voted in favor of the bill. 

The legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN,6), will block Americans who buy coverage using the health insurance exchange from receiving an average of $2,700 in tax credits. The bill is a knee-jerk reaction to a July announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that grants state-run health insurance exchanges the ability to take some liberties in determining who is eligible for the immediate tax credits that some Americans would receive when buying coverage.

"Because fraud and abuse have been rampant in just about every program that is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, including Medicare and Medicaid, a certified verification system being in place prior to the implementation to the Affordable Care Act is critical," U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX, 26) said during the bill's debate. "The President's strategy on the healthcare law is now: Trust, don't verify."

But critics say the bill is nothing more than a vapid attempt to dilute the success of the health reform law.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:08pm
Wed Aug 21, 2013

Roskam Gets Targeted By Activists For 'Standing In The Way' Of Immigration, Health Care Reform (VIDEO)

While U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) attended a town hall meeting in Naperville on Wednesday, a group of protesters, upset with the congressman’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and several immigration reform proposals, held a demonstration outside.

Roskam, the protesters allege, has not offered any concrete solutions to fix the nation’s broken immigration and health care systems, but instead has only blocked solutions based on partisanship.

“Democracy can’t survive on just standing in the way,” said John Gaudette, organizing director for Citizen Action Illinois, who helped organize the protest. “If he’s taking the opposing stance, he needs to tell us what works and come up with an alternative plan.”

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