Governor Bruce Rauner
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Dear Governor Rauner,
When you began your term as our state’s leader, you focused on two very important things: being competitive and compassionate. When it comes to the most vulnerable people among us, showing compassion is of the essence – being there for them, advocating for them, protecting them, giving them a positive life experience they deserve, and loving them.
Many families in my district have a child who is developmentally disabled. Many of those families tell me they are fed up with the way state government is treating their child, especially when it comes to funding for programs and services. This unfair treatment, the opposite of compassion, has been going on for years. It needs to change now, and I am hopeful you can make it happen.
The problem for years has been those who are the most vulnerable among us are being cheated out of millions of dollars. The biggest problem is the failure of the Medicaid system. Started with good intentions, this program has almost become synonymous with waste and abuse. Just recently, it was reported the Illinois Auditor General found the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) paid $3.7 million for medical services to more than 1,000 people who were already recorded as dead. In 2013, a state-hired private contractor, Maximus, identified more than 220,000 people it said should be dropped from the Medicaid rolls. Illinois then removed more than 114,000 from the system. But, before Maximus could finish combing through the millions of more names in the system, the state pulled them off the job.
This waste and abuse has to stop now. It is costing our state hundreds of millions of dollars – dollars that should be going to people who actually need it the most, not scammers. It’s common sense: verify income, hire someone to check the Medicaid rolls for abuse, and make sure people who are receiving aid are actually alive. For too long, our state government has not even come close to living up to its requirements in this area. For some reason, those people who need it the most doesn’t always receive the funding.
When we achieve these savings and reprioritize how money is distributed, funding has to go to those who are vulnerable, especially those with developmental disabilities. Prior cuts to that state assistance for medications must be restored. We must restore payments that were cut for medically-necessary services.
Like you and your Administration, I think our priority – as a society and as a government – must be showing compassion to those who are most vulnerable and need our help. Thank you for allowing me to bring this important issue to your attention.
Working together, our state can make this right.
State Senator Sue Rezin