New Illinois Law Bad For Seniors

June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week, Illinois Governor Quinn signed into law reform bill SB2840. The bill completely eliminates funding to the Illinois Cares Rx program.  This program helped thousands of Illinois seniors access necessary prescription drugs that they otherwise would be unable to afford.

Illinois Cares Rx was cut to help Illinois cut their budget in order to recover from its financial crisis, but the cuts are likely to cause more financial burden on an already weakened hospital system and eventually higher costs to the state.  With the soaring cost of prescription drugs, seniors without aid will be forced to make decisions like paying for utilities or paying for prescription drugs.  For those that choose to reduce their dosages or quit taking their pills altogether, it is easy to see how expensive emergency room visits will be on the rise.  

Nancy Nelson, AARP Illinois Advocacy and Outreach Manager said, “Everyone knows that the state of Illinois is in a financial crisis and tough decisions must be made with regards to the budget.  However, those tough decisions need to be smart decisions. Instead of simply hacking away at critical health care programs like Illinois Cares Rx, legislators need to be thinking about the long term implications of funding cuts.  Seniors who can’t afford their medications won’t take them – and the state will end up paying more for their health care down the road. Illinois needs reasonable and balanced solutions to the issue of Medicaid funding – but being penny-wise and pound-foolish is not the answer.”

The Illinois Cares Rx program covers approximately 150,000 seniors in Illinois.  Today on the program’s website it reads, “We regret to inform you that the Illinois Cares Rx program is ending June 30, 2012.  to Illinois state budget reductions, funding for the program is being eliminated.  This means beginning July 1, 2012, Illinois Cares Rx will no longer help you pay for your prescription drugs and Medicare Part D plan.”

“AARP will certainly be reaching out to our 1.7 million Illinois members to let them know about the elimination of the Illinois Cares Rx program – and to let them know that Governor Quinn has the authority to reinstate the program.  To those legislators who voted in favor of the Medicaid reform bill, you will be hearing from your constituents, many of whom are likely Illinois Cares Rx clients.  When constituents call your district offices telling you that they can’t afford to fill their prescriptions, what will you tell them? Eliminating Illinois Cares Rx is bad news for seniors in our state, and a bad move for Illinois legislators,” added Nancy Nelson.

I urge you to contact Please contact your legislators and tell them that these budget cuts are at the expense of Seniors with limited means!your legislators and tell them how these budget cuts will affect you and your family.  If you don’t know how to reach your legislator, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website and you can search for your representative by your address.  Please contact your legislators and tell them that these budget cuts are at the expense of Seniors with limited means!

The Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC. is located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients.  Their office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.

   Every day of every week, Weekly Law is there for you.

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