The coronavirus pandemic – and the mishandling of it by the Trump Administration and our federal government – has put our lives at risk. This is no time to play politics with public health, or our health care and health insurance. And yet, that is exactly what the Trump administration is doing. At the very moment that people need guaranteed access to quality, affordable health care, the Trump administration is fighting to undermine and destroy the Affordable Care Act, and our nation’s public health infrastructure.
On November 10, just one week after the presidential election, the Trump administration will ask the Supreme Court to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But for now, the ACA is still the law of the land. As people lose wages, employment, and employer-sponsored health insurance during the pandemic, the ACA is there to pick up the pieces and provide health insurance coverage. But if the Trump administration has its way, the ACA and all the consumer protections and guarantees that it provides for those with private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, will soon be gone.
CCHCC has a big job to do this fall, and we need your help and support! The threats this nation is facing could have far-reaching consequences on the lives of millions of Americans, and on the future of all forms of health insurance in the U.S., including Medicare and Medicaid. These threats also bring into sharp focus the importance of voting in elections – policies and laws are made by elected officials and the people they appoint to the courts. CCHCC is organizing to register, educate, and empower health care voters!
But even as these threats escalate, individuals and families in our community still need help getting covered and navigating the ACA’s Marketplace and Medicare. Open Enrollment periods for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and for the ACA Marketplace are quickly approaching, and CCHCC is gearing up to help our community get covered.
Are you a member of the Common Ground Food Co-op (CGFC)? If so, there is a very easy way that you can help support Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC)!
Voting for CGFC’s “Round Up for Good” is now taking place, in order to select the 11 organizations that will be featured in 2021. Organizations that are selected for the Round Up for Good program can raise $2,000 or much more, so this is a great opportunity to help CCHCC so that we can help as many of our community members get the health care, health insurance, and prescriptions they need! Here is what you need to know:
Voting Schedule Voting is only open from Thursday, September 10 through Thursday, September 17, so please take some time soon to cast your vote for CCHCC!
Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) is here and ready to help! Even though our office remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are still on the job and available to serve clients remotely.
If you need our services, please call or email us. You can call us at 217-352-6533, or send us an email at email@example.com, and we will respond as soon as we can. Please leave us a message, and please be patient – we will contact you as soon as we can. Because we are working remotely, our Staff have a little more work to do in order to communicate amongst ourselves and to coordinate our responses, but we will get back to everyone who contacts us! In this challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic, CCHCC wants to continue to provide information and resources to you. Many people have contacted us to ask about where they can go to get tested for the Coronavirus, and under what circumstances they will be allowed to get a test.
We are fortunate in Champaign County to have a drive-up facility organized by the Illinois Department of Public Health, open to everyone, as well as several healthcare providers who are also doing Coronavirus testing, and the University of Illinois (for students, faculty, and staff).
Although we are saddened that we will not be able to gather together for the Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) Annual Awards Dinner this year to celebrate our 43rd Anniversary, we are grateful for your support, and the support of local businesses and organizations that are represented here in our 2020 Adbook.
For the last 43 years, CCHCC has been in the forefront of working to improve our community’s health, improving access to care, dealing with emerging issues in health care, fighting for justice, and making concrete improvements in people’s lives. And we could not have done it without you!
Although we cannot gather for our annual celebration, CCHCC staff are still working very hard every day to serve our community during the coronavirus pandemic. We have had an increase in the number of clients we are serving as a result of community members losing employment and income, and needing extra resources during our state’s Shelter-in-Place order. And, clients turning to us are also in greater distress and have more complicated situations and require greater support from CCHCC’s staff – our Community Health Workers. More community members are turning to us for help in accessing public benefits for the first time in their lives, unaccustomed to navigating the public benefits systems.
I write this message with the heaviest of hearts. My beautiful mother – Marja-Liisa Lennhoff Eskelinen – died on Saturday evening, the 4th of July.
My family is all down in TX, and it is heartbreak on top of sorrow that I was not able to be with my mom when she died. The coronavirus pandemic has made travel complicated, treacherous, and at times, impossible. So many families around our nation, and the world, are going through the same thing – grieving at a distance, and unable to bask in the light of love that is sometimes possible and necessary at the end of life.
I want to tell y’all a little bit about my mom, and about her love for CCHCC and the work that we do. This is not an obituary for my mom, but a bit of a celebration of a beautiful life, and how that life contributed to the beautiful organization that we all have built – CCHCC.
Marja-Liisa Lennhoff Eskelinen My mom was a World War II baby, born on May 31, 1939 in Finland. Her father was a scout on horseback for the Finnish military, which was fighting Russia at that time. My mom’s father was killed when my mom was 2 years old. From then on, my mom had a very hard life – poverty, abuse when sent to live with another family, various illnesses including encephalitis, and more. But she was tough and resilient. She was a survivor.
Eventually, my mom was able to travel to the United States, the ward of a Finnish lady who was a domestic servant for a rich family in White Plains, NY. That Finnish lady is who I knew as my grandmother (she adopted the name “Mary Lake” to try to seem more American) when I was growing up. My mom arrived in the U.S. at the age of 15. She entered nursing school and worked as a domestic servant with her foster mom. Eventually, my mom became a nurse and worked at the White Plains, NY hospital, where she met my dad, Miguel Lennhoff. I treasure my mom’s gold pin that she received upon becoming a nurse.
My dad was doing his medical residency in White Plains, NY, where he arrived from Mexico. He grew up in Mexico after his mom fled Austrian Nazis. That’s a whole other story that I won’t get into now.
My parents fell in love and got married, and then had to move to Mexico so that my dad could finish his medical school. Both of my parents spoke English as a second or third language. That was the language they had in common. But then, of course, my mom had to learn Spanish when they moved to Mexico. And she did.
My parents had three children while in Mexico. I am the middle daughter in between two brothers.