ICS Introduces Medicaid Bill at Capitol

Illinois State Capitol

On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the 102nd General Assembly officially began. A new General Assembly meant two new legislative leaders, new legislation, and the introduction of the ICS’ bill to require Medicaid coverage for chiropractic physician services.

 This General Assembly started with the election of two new legislative leaders. The House has elected Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch to be the new Speaker of the House. Speaker Welch is the first African-American Speaker in Illinois history. Minority Leader Jim Durkin was re-elected to serve as House Minority Leader for the Republican caucus. In the Senate, President Don Harmon was re-elected to serve as the Senate President. Also, Leader Dan McConchie was elected as the new Senate Minority Leader for the Republican caucus.

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With a new General Assembly also comes the filing of new legislation. Legislators in both chambers have been filing bills.  As of the writing of this article, over 2,100 pieces of legislation have been filed between the two chambers, and more will continue to be filed through the end of February. The ICS is in the process of reviewing all of the proposed bills and determining any impact to the chiropractic profession. We will inform our members as we identify legislation that may affect the profession. 

Both chambers have indicated they will try to operate as normally as possible. Due to COVID-19, parts of the session will be held virtually. For example, committee hearings are currently being held in a virtual format.  The ICS will be monitoring and participating in the legislative hearings virtually.

ICS Introduces Medicaid Legislation

For this legislative session, the ICS has focused on ensuring that all Illinoisans, regardless of income, have access to chiropractic care. This year we introduced legislation that would allow Medicaid beneficiaries to access chiropractic physicians for their healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for greater accessibility to and options for healthcare.

Representative Robyn Gabel introduced House Bill 346 (HB 346) which would allow Medicaid beneficiaries to choose a chiropractic physician as part of their healthcare team, facilitating more convenient, earlier intervention and better outcomes.  The legislation would provide adult Medicaid beneficiaries with the opportunity to use chiropractic manipulative treatment and other non-drug therapies as options for pain management.

The ICS is participating in ongoing meetings with legislators on this bill. As the session moves forward, we will continue to update our members on this very important issue.  

About Author

Lindsay Wagahoff, MA

Lindsay joined the ICS in 2017 as our Director of Governmental Relations. In addition to her Masters in Political Science, Lindsay has served on staff with the Office of the House Republican Leader as a legislative analyst. Also, she staffed the Human Services Committee (which handles Medicaid), as well as, the appropriations committee for Human Services. Prior to serving in this capacity, Lindsay was the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, and brings a full understanding of member relations. Her friendly and bright demeanor and tenacious attitude allows the Illinois Chiropractic Society to maintain positive health care relationships and advance the chiropractic profession both at the Capitol and with regulatory bodies.

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