Monday, Jan 07, 2013

The Catholic Conference of Illinois is backing an expansion of Medicaid to adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The expansion, embodied in House Bill 106 and Senate Bill 26, is part of the federal health care act passed in 2010. The Affordable Care Act for the first time extends Medicaid — the state-federal health insurance for low-income children, their parents and the disabled — to single, childless adults come January 1, 2014. HB 106 and SB 26 expand Medicaid to these adults as long as they earn no more than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. FPL for an individual for 2013 stands at $11,490 — 138 percent of that is approximately $15,856.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the health care reform law, but allows states the option of expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income adults. Illinois is taking part in the expansion through these two pieces of legislation.

CCI supports efforts to increase access to health care that protects all human life at all stages. However, the Conference notes concerns with future funding of the initiative, access to health care and "medically necessary" abortions. Read about our concerns in this fact sheet.

The Illinois Senate on Feb. 28, 2013, approved SB 26 on a 40-19 vote. The Illinois House on May 27, 2013, approved an amended version of SB 26 on a 63-55 vote. The Senate concurred with those changes on May 28, 2013, sending the measure to the governor for his signature.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed SB 26 into law on July 22, 2103.