Maybe everyone knew this but me. If not, you better be sitting down for this one.
Though not required by law, Illinois provides a program of benefits called Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility(MPE). MPE “offers immediate, temporary coverage for outpatient healthcare for pregnant women…. There are no co-payments or premiums in MPE.” MPE, which takes effect immediately and remains in effect for 30 days after the month in which it takes effect, provides “outpatient services like prenatal checkups, doctor visits, lab tests, prenatal vitamins, medicine, specialty medical care, eye care, dental care, emergency room care, mental health and substance abuse services, transportation to get medical care and other services.” The reason for the added emphasis will be clear momentarily, but first some troubling words about eligibility.
Buried in the bowels of government documents where few dare to tread is a document titled “Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility Instructions for Providers,” which lists the eligibility requirements for MPE—eligibility requirements that might enrage surprise taxpayers (emphasis mine):
- Family Size:
Family size is considered when determining whether the pregnant woman meets the income standard for MPE. Family is defined as the pregnant woman, her unborn child(ren), her husband, and children/stepchildren under the age of 19 living in her home….
In order to be considered eligible for MPE, the family income must be at or below the established standard. The woman’s declaration of the family income is all that is needed for the MPE provider to complete the MPE application. Proof of income is NOT needed for completion of the MPE application….
The woman’s declaration of pregnancy is all that is needed for the MPE provider to complete the MPE application. The MPE provider’s authorized signature on the MPE application is sufficient to establish eligibility for MPE; no other verification is necessary. An expected delivery date or the number of fetuses is not required on the MPE application….
A woman does not need to be a citizen or documented immigrant to qualify for MPE.
Proof of citizenship is not required for MPE eligibility.
Legal immigration status does not affect eligibility for MPE.
A social security number is NOT required for MPE eligibility….
- Attestation of State Residency:
The applicant must attest to whether she is or is not an Illinois resident. Do not require verification of state residency.
According to this document, any woman who resides anywhere—including an illegal immigrant—could come to Illinois, claim to be an Illinois resident, claim to be pregnant, claim to be impoverished, and immediately receive coverage at taxpayer expense for “doctor visits, lab tests, prenatal vitamins, medicine, specialty medical care, eye care, dental care, emergency room care, mental health and substance abuse services, transportation to get medical care and other services,” for up to 60 days, all without any documentation proving legal immigration status, residency status, pregnancy, or income level.
But there is a yet another concern to which lawmakers and legal eagles should respond in light of Pinocchio Rauner’s legislative baby (HB 40), which requires Medicaid to cover abortions: Since MPE covers outpatient healthcare, including doctor visits, lab tests, medicine, specialty medical care, mental health services, and “other services,” and since abortions are legal in Illinois through all nine months for mental health reasons, could a pregnant woman—including an illegal immigrant who resides in another state—who applies and receives MPE coverage go to a Planned Parenthood and obtain an abortion through Medicaid?
Lawmakers in the bankrupt state of Illinois could easily amend MPE eligibility requirements to require proof of legal immigrant status, proof of Illinois residency, proof of income, and proof of pregnancy—you know, in the service of eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse. Illinois citizens should demand they do so or boot them out.
When discussing these requirements with former State Representative Jeanne Ives, she pointed out that “new abortion clinics opened in Illinois last year and more are in the works. The new Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Flossmoor is located less than 15 miles from the Indiana border and right off of I-80. Planned Parenthood plans to profit off the Illinois taxpayer by exploiting victims from out-of-state.”
And while Illinoisans are taking up this issue with their state senators and representatives, they should ask them why MPE considers a baby in the womb to be a “child” with healthcare needs but child-killing abortion advocates do not.
Take ACTION: Please speak out! Click HERE to send a message to your state senator, state representative and to Gov. Pritzker. Ask them to stop targeting innocent pre-born persons and vulnerable women in Illinois. Ask them to vote against HB 2495. Please also ask them to vote against HB 2467, which will gut the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995.
Instructions – fill out your name, address, email, and phone number. If you aren’t representing a group, leave Section II blank. Select Opponent in Section III. Select Record of Appearance Only in Section IV. Agree to the terms and click Create Slip.
Listen to this article read by Laurie:
SpeakOut Illinois 2019
Join us on March 9th in Oak Brook for the annual SpeakOut Illinois conference! This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, plus Jackie Bedore of Benet Academy, and a panel of pro-life pastors.