Ives laments House Democrats' priorities
Former Republican state representative Jeanne Ives of Wheaton thinks Democratic leaders in Springfield have completely lost touch with the state's priorities.
Ives recently took to Facebook to wonder out aloud how it is possible that a bill to expand autism services for children could be stalled in the House at same time Gov. J.B. Pritzker and House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) are pushing legislation that would have Medicaid paying for sex-change operations.
“It tells you where Democrats’ priorities truly are,” Ives told Prairie State Wire. “They prioritize elective surgeries over something like autism care for children. The question I have is why does Pritzker need legislation for an autism bill but [he] can just sign off on something like sex-change legislation with the stroke of pen?”
Requiring state Medicaid managed care plans to provide expanded autism treatments for those under the age of 21, House Bill 2845 has languished since unanimously passing out of the House Mental Health Committee more than a month after state Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park) introduced it to the legislature. Roughly a decade ago, Illinois became one of the first states in the country to enact legislation requiring private insurers to cover the cost of autism treatment for children, though supporters of 2845 insist that upgrades are needed because many of those patients are hard-pressed to receive an initial diagnosis.
“This is a bill run by a Democrat, a bill that went through committee, went on the House floor and never received a vote because Mike Madigan refused to see it happen,” Ives said. “Everyone knows that nothing like this happens without Mike Madigan’s approval.”
State lawmakers recently announced they plan to start insuring gender-reassignment surgeries as early this summer for the roughly 1,400 Medicaid patients currently diagnosed with the condition gender dysphoria.