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Illinois Delegation Sends Letter to HHS for Urgent Medical Equipment, Testing Kits, and Medicaid Waiver

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Washington, March 19, 2020 | Maura Gillespie (2022253635) | comments
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined his fellow U.S. House of Representatives Illinois Delegation Members in sending a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
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WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined his fellow U.S. House of Representatives Illinois Delegation Members in sending a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to request immediate assistance for the State of Illinois in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after the state’s first COVID-19 fatality.

The Members specifically demanded adequate personal protective equipment from the federal strategic national stockpile (SNS), increased access to diagnostic tests for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and rapid approval of a waiver to expand Medicaid access:

“These masks, respirators, gloves, and gowns are essential equipment that our front-line hospital, community health center, and health care workers rely upon in treating patients who present with COVID-19 symptoms,” the Members wrote. “To date, the State of Illinois had not received clear indications from the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response about when to expect the requested PPE from the SNS...We request your immediate action to fulfill the state’s PPE request to the greatest extent practicable and provide clear expectations to Illinois.”

They continued, “We request your assistance to ensure IDPH has a robust supply of test kit supplies and that the state’s efforts to augment its testing capacity do not face regulatory delays…Finally, we ask that you work with the State of Illinois to quickly finalize and approve an 1135 Medicaid Waiver to ensure the state can broaden coverage eligibility, provide faster enrollment for newly eligible individuals, and expand covered health care services, including telehealth.”

 The letter was signed by Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-IL-1), Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL-4), Mike Quigley (D-IL-5), Sean Casten (D-IL-6), Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8), Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Mike Bost (R-IL-12), Rodney L. Davis (R-IL-13), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), John Shimkus (R-IL-15), Adam Kizinger (R-IL-16), Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), and Darin LaHood (R-IL-18). A PDF of the signed letter is available HERE.

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