State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Chosen As AARP Illinois' Legislator of the Year

Dec 13, 2013, 14:00 ET from AARP Illinois

Legislator Recognized for Leadership in Medicaid Expansion, Senior Services Funding

CHICAGO, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For Illinoisans needing access to affordable healthcare, 2013 has been a good year –the federal Medicaid program has been expanded to cover thousands of individuals, families and older adults who, through no fault of their own were not able to afford health insurance, and state programs and services allowing older Illinoisans to receive care in their own home and communities have received critical funding.

Both milestones are the result of the hard work and leadership of dozens of advocacy organizations and legislators. State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-12) was a key leader in the General Assembly, fighting to ensure passage of Senate Bill 26 – the Medicaid Expansion bill – and full appropriation for the state's Home and Community Based Services. For these reasons, AARP has chosen Rep. Feigenholtz as the Association's Legislator of the Year in 2013.

"Representative Feigenholtz has long been an advocate for senior services and a driving force behind rebalancing Illinois' long term care system to provide services where people actually need them," said AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo. "Illinois' commitment to home and community-based alternatives to institutions has grown extensively as a reflection of Sara's commitment. On behalf of our 1.7 million Illinois members we are proud to present this award to her as a way of thanking her for her tremendous leadership on behalf of Illinoisans of all ages."

Thanks for Rep. Feigenholtz leadership:

  • Medicaid Expansion will provide critical, preventative medical care that will keep hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans out of costly emergency rooms;
  • Medicaid Expansion will save the state almost a $1 billion in Uncompensated Care costs over the next 10 years;
  • Medicaid Expansion will also bring in $4.6 billion in federal funding over the next three years.
  • Supplemental funding was passed this year that ended a decade of chronic underfunding of state programs allowing thousands of older Illinoisans to receive care and services in their own homes.

The AARP Illinois Legislator of the Year Award will be presented to Rep. Feigenholtz today in Chicago during the annual Governor's Conference on Aging.