Last week an Illinois Senate committee in a 6-1 vote passed a measure that would expand the state Medicaid backed All Kids program to include upwards of 1,000 illegal immigrants, the same measure also cuts off desperately needed money to nearly 1,200 of the states most severely disabled and sick children.
After hearing the testimony of one supporter of the granting of Medicaid benefits to some illegal immigrants the committees chairman Sen. Daniel Biss brought the hearing to a halt and held the vote approving the measure over the objections of disabled childrens advocate and mother of a disabled child Christine Chalkey and another parent who had filed all necessary paperwork to give opposing testimony before the committee and were standing there ready to speak, while surrounded by a room full of bused in supporters of the Medicaid expansion to illegals.
Biss eventually acknowledged that he errored in not letting the women speak, but nothing was going to change the outcome of the vote.
The measure passed easily with Rockford Republican Sen. Dave Syverson joining the Democrat majority(as he did previously in supporting the states version of the DREAM Act), Republican Sen. Dale Righter didnt vote, while Dixon Republican Sen. Tim Bivins was the lone no vote on the committee. The bill now heads to the full House and Senate for approval.
In an interview Sunday Chalkey said that she went to Springfield with her son Jake, who has a rare condition, to give a voice to parents and children she says are being disenfranchised by a legislature, Democrat and Republican alike, that just doesnt seem to care or want to hear from the families of those that would be harmed by this move.
In 2012 a similar move by the Illinois legislature to cut funding for the severely disabled while expanding benefits to illegal immigrants ensnared Jake and his family.
It took court intervention and the accompanying nightmare of dealing with the state bureaucracy to keep that effort from dramatically harming some of the most vulnerable Illinois residents.
Hopefully this time this dastardly move to give Medicaid to illegals while cutting it off for the severely disabled can be defeated either in the legislature or via a veto from Gov. Rauner.