SPRINGFIELD - "EverThrive Illinois," which until recently was called "Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition," brought a number of teens to the state capitol for "Youth Advocacy Day 2014" last Wednesday. The organization's lobbying efforts include an array of issues, from school clinic funding to repealing the parental notification law to raising the minimum wage.
According to the Illinois Comptroller Open Books website, in the past five years alone, Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition has received over $3 million in taxpayer funds to promote their legislative agenda. Between 2013 and 2014, the group's taxpayer funding doubled from $404,541 to $1,049,292.
In a video (below) produced by EverThrive Illinois, state lawmakers encouraged teens at the rally to get involved in promoting a minimum wage hike and securing tax funding for school-based clinics.
EverThrive's Agenda is basically to obtain tax dollars to...promote their agenda. From their website:
Child and Adolescent Health:
- Protect current state funding for school health centers and explore new opportunities for sustainable funds for both existing school health centers and new school health centers.
- Ensure that school health centers remain a viable provider in the Medicaid program.
- Advocate for relevant and helpful child health legislation and adolescent health legislation, including but not limited to, reproductive justice and mental/behavioral health services.
- Protect confidentiality of minors.
- Support policies and programs that improve economic disparities that exist for women, children, and families.
- Advocate for policies and programs that improve educational opportunities for lower income families.
- Support policies and programs that promote healthy pregnancies and infants, which include but are not limited to Title V, Healthy Start, Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting, and breastfeeding promotion.
- Support policies and programs that work to reduce medically unnecessary elective cesarean sections before 39 weeks.
- Support effective policies and programs that address the reduction of premature births, improve outcomes for premature infants, and support caregivers of premature infants.
- Support policies and programs that ensure the reproductive rights of women.
- Improve access to government food and nutrition programs including, but not limited to, SNAP, WIC, free and reduced meals for students, and summer feeding programs.
- Support policies and programs that will improve the nutrition and increase the physical activity of children.
- Monitor and improve the systems by which consumers obtain health coverage and ensure this coverage leads to accessible, quality health care including, but not limited to, Affordable Care Act provisions, Medicaid, FamilyCare and All Kids.
- Ensure there are no further cuts to eligibility or additional required documentation for Medicaid, FamilyCare or All Kids.
- Ensure there are a comprehensive range of benefits for women, including the full range of reproductive health services, included in insurance options.
- Create and support solutions that address on-going coverage gaps for priority population groups.
- Ensure access to oral health services.
- Monitor care coordination models in Medicaid to ensure quality.
- Support policies and programs that ensure quality healthcare for undocumented citizens.
- Support policies and programs that will increase immunization rates across the lifespan.
- Support programs and policies that create access to vaccinations.
- Protect current funding for immunization programs.
- Support efforts that will lead to full implementation of I-CARE, Illinois’ on-line registry system.
- Support efforts that will reduce the number of non- medical school vaccination exemptions.