Champaign County Health Care Consumer’s Medicare Task Force is issuing this urgent TAKE ACTION alert. Recently, news broke that the bipartisan group of state legislators, tasked with finding $2.7 billion in cuts to Medicaid and other state programs, has agreed on about $1.4 billion in cuts, including the elimination of Illinois Cares Rx. Governor Quinn will be releasing his own plan for $2.7 billion in Medicaid cuts on 4/19.
Illinois Cares Rx is an essential program for helping low-income seniors pay for their prescription drugs. Funding for Illinois Cares Rx was already slashed in half last year, kicking many seniors out of the program. We must stop any further cuts!
Please see the TAKE ACTION section immediately below for more information. Further down is background on the IL Cares Rx program, if you would like to learn more.
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1. Call Gov. Quinn NOW to tell him not to eliminate Illinois Care Rx.
Gov. Quinn’s Office: (217) 782-0244
Sample calling script:
“Hello, my name is _____. I am calling to tell Gov. Quinn NOT to eliminate the Illinois Cares Rx program. Our state budget should not be balanced on the backs of low-income seniors.”
If you currently use Illinois Care Rx or have a family member who benefits from the program, tell Gov. Quinn what eliminating it would mean for you and your family.
2. Send us your stories about how you would be affected if Illinois Cares RX is cut or how you have already been affected by previous cuts to Illinois Care Rx.
To send us your story, you can either respond to this email, or send them directly to Nick Quealy-Gainer, coordinator of the Medicare Task Force, at nick@HealthCareconsumers.org. You can also call us and we can collect your story over the phone by contacting us at (217) 352-6533.
You can help us make a case to save these programs by sharing your story and telling us how you or someone you care about would be impacted by cuts to your state benefits. If you or a family member uses Illinois Cares Rx, or other state programs that are on the chopping block this year, tell us how losing these benefits or having them reduced would affect your health care and well being.
For example, if you or someone you care about uses Illinois Cares Rx, and you have already had to cut medication from your prescription drug regimen or skip doses because you can no longer afford the cost of your drugs, then let us know. Or if you lost these benefits next year due to cuts to Illinois Cares Rx and had to adjust your medication, let us know.
Share your story and help us fight against these cuts!
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ABOUT ILLINOIS CARES RX:
Illinois Cares Rx is a state program that helps nearly 200,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities with the costs of the prescription medications
In February, Gov. Quinn and the IL Department of Human Services released their state budget proposals, which included over $2.7 billion in cuts to Medicaid and other social services, including the elimination of Illinois Cares Rx and deep cuts to programs like All Kids and Family Care. We all know how these programs provide coverage for health care and prescription drugs by supporting low-income families and seniors. But the health and economic impacts of continued reductions or elimination of social programs are already being felt by thousands of Illinoisans, and it’s time we say “Enough is Enough!”
CCHCC’s Medicare Task Force and advocates from around the state fought successfully to save Circuit Breaker and Illinois Cares Rx from elimination last year, and it appears we will have to repeat our efforts again this year. Cutting or eliminating multiple state programs amounts to a threat to the health and well being of everyone in our community. Every member of a family, from children who receive health insurance coverage under All Kids, to parents and adults who benefit from Family Care or Medicaid, to the grandparents and other Medicare beneficiaries who rely on Illinois Cares Rx to help pay for their prescription drugs are at risk. These cuts are a public health risk!
These proposed cuts are foolish as they jeopardize the health of many seniors who depend on Illinois Cares Rx to be able to afford their prescribed medications. Of all the state programs on the table, outside of Medicaid, Illinois Cares Rx helps by far the most residents and is a small drop in the bucket of restoring economic stability to Illinois. This is simply penny-wise and pound-foolish.
On behalf of CCHCC’s Medicare Task Force, we thank you for calling Governor Quinn and telling him to STOP CUTS TO ILLINOIS CARES RX! We will keep you updated as we learn more about cuts to Illinois Cares Rx, Medicaid, and other state programs that provide a vital lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans.