August 12, 2010
The Health Care Council of Illinois, the state’s largest nursing home association, would like to thank those members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation who voted to extend Medicaid aid to the states, including Illinois. This crucial funding will protect the health and well-being of the thousands of elderly and disabled individuals living in Illinois nursing homes.
Without this critical funding extension, Illinois nursing homes most likely would have faced funding cuts that would have put the well-being of thousands of nursing home residents in danger and would have jeopardized thousands of caregivers’ jobs.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, by a 247-161 vote. The Senate passed the bill last week, and President Obama quickly signed the legislation into law after the House vote. This important legislation provides approximately $550 million in additional Medicaid funding to Illinois.
HCCI would like to thank Senators Durbin and Burris and Representatives Rush, Jackson, Lipinski, Gutierrez, Quigley, Davis, Bean, Schakowsky, Halvorson, Costello, Foster, and Hare. These legislators demonstrated true leadership with their votes, protecting some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens including our children, disabled and elderly citizens.
HCCI urges our governor and state legislators to provide adequate allocation of emergency FMAP funds to our state’s long term care facilities. These funds will strengthen our state’s safety net of care for the 100,000 individuals living in Illinois nursing homes, along with protecting 80,000 caregiver jobs.
While the extension of Medicaid funding provides an important lifeline to states, it does not solve the larger funding crisis that continues to plague Illinois’ long term care system. Currently, Illinois nursing homes are, on average, under-reimbursed nearly $30 per resident per day for every resident on Medicaid in their care. Two-thirds of all nursing home residents are on Medicaid.
We all must work together at both the state and federal levels to ensure adequate funding for Illinois nursing homes. This important work will protect our state’s senior and disabled citizens, and maintain a stable workforce that is ready and able to meet their care needs.
Health Care Council of Illinois
1029 S. Fourth Street
Springfield, IL 62703