Sen. Biss, Rep. Welch & Advocates Call For Visionary Action in Face of Aging Population to Ensure Illinois Parents and Grandparents Can Remain in Their Homes
SPRINGFIELD-Sponsors of new legislation to address the accelerating crisis of parents and grandparents unable to afford long-term care in Illinois were joined by advocates at a Capitol press conference Wednesday calling on the state to take visionary action.
“With crisis comes opportunity, and if Illinois acts now it can get ahead of the problem, where too many older adults are falling through the cracks in receiving care,” said Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch (D-Hillside), a sponsor of the measure.
Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), sponsor in the other chamber, warned that attacks against Medicaid funding both in Washington and Springfield make it necessary to shore up the economic security of Illinoisans who are entering the age where they would require care-but are unable to stay in their homes with dignity.
“This bill creates a right in Illinois to access to long-term care in Illinois,” Biss said. “It recognizes the fundamental human value at stake here, recognizes the technical challenges that we need to overcome to get from here to there and begins walking us down that path.”
The legislation, House Bill 5697 and Senate Bill 2976, named the Affordable Long-Term Services and Supports for Illinois Families Act (see attachment), calls for the creation of a commission and a fully-funded trust to create a benefit for those who fall through the cracks of the current programs for care, and answers the want for seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their own homes.
At the press conference, Don Todd, a Springfield retiree, recounted how his coal miner father and mother were able to take care of his grandparents back in the 1950s, but given modern-day medical costs and the lack of good-paying jobs, this would be almost impossible without support for him and his daughter, who is about to have her 3rd child.
“Multiple generations in Illinois need a solution to how they’re going to pay for care going forward, beginning with mine, Todd said.
Organizations supporting the new legislation backed by Biss and Welch include Caring Across Generations, the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Access Living and SEIU Healthcare Illinois.
Amber Smock, director of advocacy for Access Living, a Chicago-based advocacy organization for people with disabilities, said the new legislation will help strengthen a foundational belief that has broad bipartisan support in Illinois, that seniors and people with disabilities should have the option and independence to stay in their homes instead of costlier nursing facilities.
“At the end of the day this is about independence,” Smock said.
The next step for the legislation includes plans for hearings and an effort to engage residents across the state on how long-term care needs are affecting their lives.
Crisis of Care With Aging of Illinois Placing Unsustainable Stresses on Family Budgets, State Finances; Opportunity for a New Framework
WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE: https://livestream.com/blueroomstream/events/8076257/videos/170848425
SPRINGFIELD-With the aging crisis ongoing and accelerating, legislative action is required now to keep Illinois parents and grandparents-and people with disabilities-in their homes while keeping Middle Class and working families out of bankruptcy.
New legislation sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss and Rep. Chris Welch, and backed by a range of advocacy groups, will seek to create a sustainable and universal new benefit, similar to Social Security, to ensure that aging Illinoisans don’t fall through the cracks.
With crisis comes opportunity and the new benefit offers Illinois a chance to act, instead of react, to long-term pressures.
Sen. Biss, Rep. Welch and advocates will be available to discuss the new legislation, and the issues underlying, at a press conference 10:30 a.m. TODAY, Weds., Feb. 28th, in the Capitol’s Blue Room.
WHO: Sen. Daniel Biss, Rep. Chris Welch, Access Living, Caring Across Generations, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans
WHAT: Press conference to discuss HB 5697/SB 2976, a new plan to create a universal long-term care program.
WHERE: Capitol Blue Room, Springfield.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. TODAY, WEDS., Feb. 28th.
Saturday, March 17
SOUTH SUBURBS: 9:30 a.m. at the Harvey Community Center, 15320 Center Street, Harvey, IL
CHICAGO: 10 a.m. at the SEIU office, 2229 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL
ROCKFORD: 10 a.m. at the SEIU office, 4920 E. State Street, Rockford, IL
PEORIA: 10 a.m. at the Peoria Labor Temple, 400 NE Jefferson Street, Peoria, IL
MOUNT VERNON: 10 a.m. at the SEIU office, 206 S. 9th Street, Mount Vernon, IL
METRO EAST: 10:30 a.m. at the East St. Louis Public Library, 5300 State Street, East St. Louis, IL
SPRINGFIELD: 11 a.m. at the SEIU office, 701 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, IL
CHAMPAIGN: 11 a.m. at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL
Thursday, March 22
OLNEY: 5:30 p.m. at the Olney Public Library, 400 W. Main Street, Olney, IL
Saturday, March 24
JOLIET: 9:30 a.m. at the Joliet Public Library, 3395 Black Road, Joliet, IL
CANTON: 10 a.m. at the Salvation Army, 176 1st Avenue, Canton, IL
ALTON: 1 p.m. at the Hayner Library, 132 Alton Square, Alton, IL
Community calls for community benefits agreement that protects Berwyn from lost property tax revenue and ensures hospital workers are paid a living wage and have the right to join a union
BERWYN— Homeowners, teachers, clergy, and hospital workers voiced their concerns about the potential sale of MacNeal Hospital to Loyola Medicine at a press conference ahead of a hearing before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
The group says the purchase of MacNeal, a for-profit hospital, by the not-for-profit Loyola Medicine hospital system will take badly needed tax revenue from the community, further burdening Berwyn taxpayers and impacting schools and other services. MacNeal is the #1 taxpayer in the City of Berwn. Loyola Medicine, while technically a non-profit, operates like a corporation. The group provided a fact sheet that showed the loss of property taxes to school districts and local governments would total $3.5 million a year.
They called for a Loyola Medicine to sign a community benefit agreement that would include:
Berwyn homeowner Emily Kraiem voiced her concern about higher property taxes. Kraiem’s property tax bill is approximately $5,000 a year. It’s estimated that homeowners’ like Emily could pay an additional $185 a year if Loyola doesn’t pay any property tax.
“Working people like me are stretched thin. We can’t afford to pay higher property taxes just so the rich can pay less,” said Kraiem.
Robert Bartlett, a teacher at Morton West High School, said the loss of property tax revenue from the hospital sale to Loyola could cause the loss of seven teachers or 16 educational support staff. Bartlett says Morton West hasn’t yet recovered from the 2008 recession. Class size has swelled to 30 students (up from 24) and academic classes have been cut to five.
“A child’s zip code should not determine their educational opportunities. I’m also of the opinion that institutions in our communities should uplift our communities, not diminish them,” said Bartlett.
Anne Igoe – Vice President of Hospitals and Health Systems for SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas – called attention to a 2012 law lobbied for by the Illinois Hospital Association that allows rich hospitals like Loyola to not pay property taxes.
“We’re here to send a message to the Illinois Hospital Association that workers and communities won’t be run over by big rich hospitals and their lobbyists,” said Igoe.
Shantell Grace, an environmental service (EVS) worker who works at Loyola Medicine-owned Gottlieb Hospital in Melrose Park, spoke about the type of employer Loyola Medicine is.
“They work me to very hard and pay me poverty wages,” Grace said. “Despite the fact that my work saves lives and that I have 17 years of experience, I’m only paid $13 an hour there.” She says workers are constantly quitting because of the low pay, which leaves the hospital short of critical staff. Grace says the Loyola management doesn’t want her to join a union and distributes anti-union material.
Grace also works at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago where she has a union. At Northwestern, she makes almost $9 an hour more for doing the exact same job. “I know the union difference. I know Loyola Medicine doesn’t have to treat its workers and patients like this,” she said.
Impact on Property Tax Revenue
Charity Care spending
Loyola pays workers poorly and does not provide affordable benefits
|Medicare ID||Hospital Name||Average Hourly Wage|
|140150||University of Illinois Medical Center||$ 20.52|
|140281||Northwestern Memorial Hospital||$ 20.40|
|140124||John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County||$ 18.06|
|140119||Rush University Medical Center||$ 17.70|
|140088||The University of Chicago Medical Center||$ 16.53|
|140276||Loyola University Medical Center||$ 15.66|
Loyola/Trinity pays executives lavish salaries.
The Illinois Hospital Association controls hospital policy in Illinois
The IHA aggressively pursues a legislative and policy agenda in Springfield that favors big health systems over community hospitals, workers, and patients.
Hospital Assessment Bill (Pending)
Big health systems dominate and control the IHA and determine its policy agenda
Demand: Community Benefit Agreement
Community Benefit Agreement should include:
[i] City of Berwyn, Illinois, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2016, p. 152, http://www.berwyn-il.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/Finance/2016_City_of_Berwyn_CAFR.pdf
[ii] Office of the Cook County Clerk, 2016 Tax amounts for 77 parcels that comprise the MacNeal Hospital Campus.
[iii] E-001-18-MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, Exemption Application, Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board, January 10, 2018, p. 91 https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/hfsrb/Projects/ProjectDocuments/Exempt/E-001-18/2018-01-10%20E-001-18%20Application.pdf
[iv] Illinois Department of Public Health, Annual Hospital Questionnaire – Calendar Year 2016, https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/hfsrb/InventoriesData/FacilityProfiles/Pages/default.aspx
[v] Illinois Department of Public Health, Annual Hospital Questionnaire – Calendar Year 2016, https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/hfsrb/InventoriesData/FacilityProfiles/Pages/default.aspx
[vi] Bannow, Tara, “Charity care spending flat among top hospitals”, Modern Healthcare, January 6, 2018, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180106/NEWS/180109941
[vii] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Fiscal Year 2018 Final S3 Occupational Mix Public Use File, CNAs, Orderlies, and Attendants – Hourly Wage, available @ https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files-Items/FY2018-Wage-Index-Home-Page.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=1&DLSortDir=descending
[viii] Loyola University Medical Center, IRS Form 990, FY 2016, p. 69, viewed via Guidestar @ http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2016/364/015/2016-364015560-0e397d53-9.pdf
[ix] Calculated using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Fiscal Year 2018 S3 Occupational Mix Public Use File, CNAs, Orderlies, and Attendants – Hourly Wage, https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files-Items/FY2018-Wage-Index-Home-Page.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=1&DLSortDir=descending
[x] Schorsch, Kristen, “Loyola to pony up $270 million for suburban Chicago hospital”, January 26, 2018, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180126/NEWS/180129915
[xi] Vesely, Rebecca, “Trinity Health completes Loyola acquisition”, Modern Healthcare, July 1, 2011, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20110701/NEWS/307019963?template=print
[xii] Illinois Register, Rules for Government Agencies, Volume 40, Issue 44, October 28, 2016, p. 14650, http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/volume40/register_volume40_issue44.pdf
[xiii] Goldberg, Larry, “Managing through Health Care in Uncertain Times”, Presentation to Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, January 25, 2018.
On Monday, February 12, a delegation of thirty-one SEIU Healthcare Missouri Kansas members loaded a bus for Memphis, TN. A coalition of organizations including Stand Up KC, Show Me 15, the (New) Poor Peoples Campaign, Jobs With Justice, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and several SEIU locals descended on Memphis for demonstrations and actions to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike.
The SEIU Healthcare group from Saint Louis showed their veteran status as demonstrators with the loudest, most practiced, most disciplined appearance on the Union Avenue McDonald’s strike line. At one point, an organizer for the event shouted, “We want Saint Louis at the front,” and our crew was placed front and center.
Next was a symposium at the National Civil Rights Museum, with a panel that included Elmore Nickleberry, one of the striking sanitation workers from 1968. Also in attendance was Bill Lucy, the AFSCME organizer for the 1968 strike, and Mary Kay Henry, International President of SEIU. The striking workers from Christian Care Home in attendance were recognized by the room.
The last event for the day was a retracing of the original march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to the Memphis City Hall in 1968, shortly before his assassination. Despite the cold, our delegation was energetic, committed, and boisterous. The mantra for the day was “The Lou, comin’ through!”
We’re proud of every member who participated in this historic, inspiring commemoration!
BERWYN— Homeowners, teachers, clergy, and hospital workers will voice their concerns about the potential sale of MacNeal Hospital to Loyola Medicine during a 3:45 p.m. press conference outside Berwyn City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 22. Immediately following the press conference, members of the group will voice their concerns at a 4:15 p.m. hearing before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.
Critics say the purchase of MacNeal, a for-profit hospital, by the not-for-profit Loyola Medicine hospital system will take badly needed tax revenue from the community, further burdening Berwyn taxpayers and impacting schools and other services. MacNeal is the #1 taxpayer in the City of Berwn. Loyola Medicine, while technically a non-profit, operates like a corporation. In fact, MacNeal Hospital devoted more of its net revenue to charity care than did Loyola Medicine in 2016 (1.02% v. 0.47%). The Cook County Clerk’s office is expected to testify to the precise dollar amount of loss property tax revenue at the hearing.
Workers and faith leaders will highlight the harm Loyola Medicine causes by paying its front-line service workers poverty wages and contrasting those low wages with the high salaries to its CEO and managers. The group also plans to voice concerns that jobs and services currently performed in the community at MacNeal could be moved to other Loyola facilities outside Berwyn.
Anne Igoe, Vice President of Hospitals & Health Systems, SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana
Emily Kraiem, Berwyn Homeowner
Rob Bartlett, Berwyn High School Teacher
Shantell Grace, EVS hospital worker at Loyola Medicine-owned Gottlieb Hospital
Pastor Marvin Hunter, Grace Memorial Baptist Church
Press conference to voice concerns about loss of property tax revenue and other issues with sale of MacNeal Hospital to Medicine, a low-wage employer whose charity care falls far below state standards
Outside Berwyn City Hall, 6700 West 26th Street, Berwyn, IL
3:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 22 (press conference); 4:15 p.m. (Hearing before the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board
As details emerge from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s FY 2019 Budget, one thing is clear: His pattern of diminishing services and ending protections for seniors and people with disabilities who rely on home healthcare-and their caregivers-remains constant.
Here’s a quick list of 5 Failures of the Rauner Budget (in no particular order) when it comes to home healthcare in Illinois.
1. Denying Home Services Program Caregivers Their .48-cent raise
Last year’s bipartisan budget agreement, passed over Gov. Rauner’s veto, included a .48-cent raise for caregivers in the Home Services Program which allows people with disabilities to remain in their homes. The denial of the raise is the subject of an ongoing class-action lawsuit. The Rauner budget does not account for the raise as workers in the program, most of whom make $13 per hour, struggle in poverty and are forced to search for other work.
2. Taking Away Health Insurance for Caregivers
Home Services Program workers bargained for modest health insurance coverage a few years back. This health coverage allows many of them to seek affordable medical attention and remain in the workforce. Gov. Rauner is seeking to strip this away.
3. Cutting Workers’ Wages By Rolling Back .72-Cent Rate Increases for Caregivers In the Community Care Program for Seniors
High turnover in the home care workforce exists because of low wages and physically and emotionally challenging work, is resulting in a critical shortage of quality caregivers that’s harming consumers. The General Assembly approved a .72-cent per hour wage increase for the Community Care Program workforce, yet the Rauner budget strips this away, cutting workers’ wages.
4. Denying Quality Protections for Seniors Being Shifted Into Managed Care
As more and more seniors who rely on the Community Care Program are shifted into managed care, as touted in Gov. Rauner’s budget, they remain WITHOUT assurances that the level and quality of their care will remain.
5. Denial, Denial and Denial About Adequate Funding for Social Services
Gov. Rauner continues to avoid the elephant in the room, the lack of a fair mechanism to fund services that ensures that those at the very top pay their fair share so that the badly-torn social safety net remains intact for those who need it most.
Jane Addams Senior Caucus
Caring Across Generations
Statewide Independent Living Council
Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans
SEIU Healthcare Illinois
Illinois Network of Centers for Independent
Alliance for Community Services
Progress Center for Independent Living