Legal counsel specializing in the state ethics law says DHFS Director Julie Hamos' (photo right) email to a confidential list of state-dependent parents is not "technically" illegal and "probably" not unethical. However, the family that received Hamos' request tells us they're feeling pressured to follow the director's directive even though they are adamantly opposed to Obamacare and its expansion into Illinois.
The letter from Hamos reads as follows:
As you may know, House Bill 6253 authorizes Illinois to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act to provide healthcare under Medicaid to about 342,000 low-income Illinois citizens who are currently uninsured. The ACA offers generous federal matching funds for this newly eligible population: 100% for the first three years, then phased down to 90% by 2020. HB6253 is sponsored by Representative Sara Feigenholtz and Senator Heather Steans. A fact sheet (pdf) about the legislation and its many benefits can be found on the HFS Affordable Care Act Web page, and you can monitor the status of HB6253 on the Illinois General Assembly Web site.
The list of supporters for HB6253 is long and growing. I am gratified by the diverse group of stakeholders who have rallied behind this opportunity to promote health care in our communities and bring additional federal dollars to the state. At the same time, I am mindful of the challenges that emerge in any legislative process, and encourage you to take action.
There are three specific things you can do to ensure that this legislation moves forward:
1. Join the growing list of HB6253 supporters today by e-mailing our legislative director Selma D’Souza.
2. Call your legislators by December 20, 2012. Tell them you support HB6253 and ask them to vote YES. For more information, please feel free to e-mail Selma.
3. Share information about HB6253 with your professional network and encourage others to join the community of supporters.
Together, we can make sure Illinois does not forego this opportunity to secure new Medicaid funding while ensuring access to coverage for our residents.
Director, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services