On March 30, 2011, Norwegian American Hospital and the Greater Humboldt Park Community of Wellness, along with several other local Humboldt Park community organizations, took a bus load of 40 supporters to Springfield. The trip to the capital was an advocacy day to encourage the state’s General Assembly to reject Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed $552 million cut in Medicaid reimbursement to hospitals, nursing homes and other providers.
Supporters went around to their local representatives and asked them to consider the long-lasting negative effects of imposing Medicaid rate cuts to hospitals and the health care system, and how Norwegian American could be faced with $3.41 million in cuts per year.
Organizations that were present included: Block-by-Block: The Greater Humboldt Park Community Campaign Against Diabetes, Healthcare Alternative Systems Inc., Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Vida/SIDA.
“The advocacy day in Springfield was a huge success, and I think some very good momentum has been made, but work still needs to be done,” said Norwegian American Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer José R. Sánchez. “The proposed cut to Medicaid reimbursements would have a devastating impact on Norwegian American Hospital and, ultimately, negatively impact the already dire health status of the communities we serve.”
Norwegian American has been serving the needs of the community for over 115 years. Today, the community is home to many residents who are uninsured or underinsured, and have been found by public health researchers to have higher rates of asthma, diabetes, obesity and HIV/AIDS when compared to city and national rates. As a result, Norwegian American Hospital provides a large share of uncompensated care.
Hospitals are vital components of communities, providing essential services, including stability, care and employment to residents. All Illinois residents should be able to confidently rely on local hospitals at all times to meet their needs.