CHICAGO (CBS) – Cook County’s public guardian, Charles Golbert says the state of Illinois is about to sell thousands of kids down the river.
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reports, it’s all over a health care plan change that could harm some of the state’s most vulnerable children.
Usually, the Browns’ home is filled with their seven kids. Two biological, four foster children and one former foster child they adopted. But on Saturday, if nothing changes, Brown says their adopted child’s health care will be thrown into chaos.
“We’re actually losing our pediatrician, who has been with us for six years. We love her,” Brown said.
It’s not by choice.
It’s because of a Department of Children and Family Services’ switch to a managed care organization — in this case, Illinicare — to provide medical benefits for her son.
He’s one of 19,000 former foster children impacted.
Cook County’s Golbert says it’s a disaster in the making.
“They’re not adequate doctors, especially specialists,” Golber said. “Kids are going to have to change doctors.”
And travel greater distances, if families can find doctors at all.
“None of the providers on the list were accepting new patients or not accepting children under the age of 18,” Brown said. “We’re left with no provider and we have been told us to go to urgent care.”
Golbert wrote a federal judge expressing his concerns and another letter just this afternoon hoping to get the care switch delayed. He has serious concerns about Illinicare’s competency.
“We’ve issued subpoenas for all of their records. On a sampling of children, 25 percent who are supposed to be in this network, they don’t have any records on,” said Golbert.
The change affects 19,000 kids who’ve been adopted or have guardians now. On April 1, 17,000 current foster children will be switched to the plan, too.
“This is gonna be a train wreck for these kids,” said Golbert.
DCFS, the Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinicare did not respond to requests for comment.