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Help expand access to mental health and substance abuse services to low-income families with one phone call!

As we all know, our country is in the grips of an opioid edidemic, which is killing 2000 Illinoisans each year.

In a step to address this crisis, the State of Illinois has asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, D.C. to approve a "Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver" to help expand access to mental health and substance abuse services to Medicaid recipients.

Um, what's a Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver?

Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waivers are used in the Medicaid program to provide states an avenue to test and implement coverage approaches that do not meet federal program rules. They can waive provisions of major health and welfare programs authorized under the Social Security Act, including certain Medicaid requirements, and to allow a state to use federal Medicaid funds in ways that are not otherwise allowed under federal rules.

These waivers can also allow broad changes in eligibility, benefits, cost sharing, and provider payments.

This particular waiver in Illinois would help provide more tools to address mental illness and combat the opioid epidemic in our state.

Sounds great. So what's the problem?

Illinois’s waiver application has been stuck at CMS in the review process for more than fourteen months. It probably doesn't come as a surprise to you that something as important as fighting the opioid crisis is being ignored by the Trump administration.

There is also concern that the Trump administration may attach work requirements as a condition for this expanded care -- just like they're trying to do to Medicaid across the board.

A letter, signed by Senators Durbin and Duckworth, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and 18 other members of the Illinois delegation, has been sent to Seema Verna, the CMS administrator, urging her to approve the waiver immediately, and without a work requirement.

What can I do?

Senator Durbin's office has asked for our help.

Call Governor Rauner and ask him to push for the approval of this important waiver.

(217) 782-0244 Springfield office 
(312) 814-2121 Chicago office

"My name is ______, and I'm an Illinois voter. I would like to ask Governor Rauner to please urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to approve Illinois' Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver to help expand access to mental health and substance abuse services to Medicaid recipients. After waiting for approval for 14 months, it is essential that a clean waiver is approved without further delay, and without a work requirement.

The opioid epidemic is killing 2000 Illinoisans every year, and we must do everything in our power to help combat this crisis."

You can also send him an email.

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