Pharmacists stuck with bill for governor's failed health plan
The Blagojevich administration is forcing Illinois pharmacists to
pick up the tab for medicine distributed under its embattled
The program has been struck down by two courts that ruled the
governor overstepped his authority in advancing the program, which
had previously been rejected by a bipartisan oversight committee.
Despite failing to get the committee's approval, the governor went
ahead with enrolling the plan's participants.
The courts warned that the administration's details on the
program were disturbingly vague, and it couldn't identify which
individuals had participated in the program and the status of the
premiums that had been collected.
Following the rulings, the Department of Healthcare and Family
Services began informing pharmacists that they must foot the bill
for the medicine distributed under the FamilyCare program.
State parks, historic sites, still in limbo
On Oct. 7, the governor signed
Senate Bill 790, a measure that included more than $200 million
in fund sweeps intended to keep state parks, historic sites and
human services up and running -- services and programs that had been
slated for termination by the governor. However, he has yet to sign
the legislation's companion bill,
Senate Bill 1103, specifying how the funds should be spent. Both
measures passed the General Assembly in late September.
Many lawmakers and government watchdog groups fear the governor's
failure to sign the second measure is a sign he is playing political
games with the funding generated in Senate Bill 790 and that he will
try to use the money for his own pet projects, rather than the
parks, historic sites and services lawmakers intended it to address.
[to top of second column]
Bills hung up on petty squabbling
House Bill 5338 was passed unanimously by both the Senate and
House to adopt standards and guidelines for school districts
regarding the potential problems with Illinois children being
susceptible to various food allergies. The goal is to protect these
children from exposure to foods that can trigger a potentially
Unfortunately, the measure got caught up in the three-way turf
war that has consumed Illinois government under Blagojevich, Senate
President Emil Jones and House Speaker Mike Madigan. It's one of
more than 200 bills snuffed out in a fight over the governor's
record of circumventing the legislature's rulemaking authority.
House Democrats insist on language designed to prevent the
governor from overstepping his authority in creating rules to
enforce the law. Senate Democrats have been equally insistent on
giving the governor free rein. The result? More than 200 measures
are locked in limbo because the party in control of state government
is out of control.
Unfortunately, the fight affects real people with real problems,
and in the case of this particular bill, it's the 93,000 children in
Illinois who suffer from serious food allergies who are the real
victims in the petty gamesmanship that preoccupies Blagojevich and
his fellow Democrats.
[Text from file received from
Republican Caucus; LDN staff]