Washington, DC — In response to concerns regarding the way in which Illinois’ per capita allotment of Medicaid funds would be calculated under the American Health Care Act, Republican Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation released the following statement:
“Today our delegation received assurances from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director Seema Verma that the State of Illinois will have the opportunity to accurately report its 2016 Medicaid payment information to CMS. This information is critical to ensuring our state receives the correct per-capita allotment of federal funds.
“Illinois has long been disadvantaged by below average Medicaid reimbursements. Moving forward, our delegation is committed to working with the Trump Administration, state leaders, hospitals and providers to better calculate the federal funding our state receives.”
A letter from CMS Director Seema Verma assuring the state’s pathway to submit relevant 2016 payment information can be found here.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) sent a letter to Speaker Ryan yesterday urging House leadership to “seriously consider including provisions” to the American Health Care Act as the bill moves through the legislative process “that would put fairness and parity into the [Medicaid] formula that underpins funding to states. Additionally, as we move forward with health care reform, I am urging my colleagues to make broader structural reforms to Medicaid that are fair for recipients a top priority.”
The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on the first phase of the process of repealing and replacing the failing Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance system also known as Obamacare.
Text of the letter follows:
Dear Speaker Ryan,
As the House of Representatives finalizes its first step in the legislative overhaul of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), I must express my concerns regarding the proposal’s new formula for federal spending on Medicaid and how it will codify a flawed formula into law that would adversely and unfairly affect the state of Illinois. I ask that those negotiating the bill, including Republican Leadership, House Ways and Means Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, seriously consider including provisions that would put fairness and parity into the formula that underpins funding to states. Additionally, as we move forward with health care reform, I am urging my colleagues to make broader structural reforms to Medicaid that are fair for recipients a top priority.
The 14th Congressional District is home to 76,836 Medicaid beneficiaries, only 14,099, or 18 percent, of which are new to the program through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. This population accounts for only 6.8 percent of district inpatient hospital admissions and 9.2 percent of outpatient visits, relative to Medicare’s 49.3 percent and 31.7 percent, respectively. Most importantly, 52 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries in the 14th District are children. There are nearly 40,000 children in my district depending on the Medicaid program for their coverage and their care.
Nationally, children make up a full two-fifths of Medicaid enrollees, but they incur less than one-fifth of the program’s costs. From where I sit, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as written would stop funding health care for thousands of children, only to obtain minuscule cost savings and trigger loss of coverage for kids who lack the resources and experience to get it elsewhere.
The outlook for these children is especially bleak in Illinois, because AHCA currently offers Medicaid beneficiaries a less robust but otherwise indistinguishable ACA one-size-fits all health insurance policy. The new Medicaid formula in AHCA has been touted as a per capita cap on federal funding to states, presumably based on the number of program enrollees in each state. However, this proposal would lock in federal funding at a state’s Medicaid expenditures in 2016. The federal government would technically be paying states per enrollee, but Illinois, a state that cannot afford to reach its own Medicaid spending cap, would be stuck permanently in last place for federal Medicaid spending. Illinois has a larger, more medically complex Medicaid population than its Midwest neighbors and many other states across the country, but its enrollees would be treated as if their health needs are less important just because of where they live.
In real numbers, this means that Ohio, a smaller state with a smaller Medicaid population, received $4.6 billion more in federal Medicaid funding than Illinois did in 2015. The AHCA as written would only make these matching funds smaller and this state discrepancy larger.
I strongly support broader structural reforms to the Medicaid program. I believe Illinois’ proposal for an 1115 waiver and Governor Rauner’s plan to move more program enrollees into managed care are critically important steps forward to ensure lower costs and better care for Medicaid patients and the health care providers who treat them. The ACA nominally opened the door to coverage for 650,000 people in Illinois to get access to Medicaid coverage. However, nearly 40 percent of health care providers in the state either are not accepting new Medicaid patients or are not accepting Medicaid patients at all. The answer here is not a simple per capita cap with no structural reforms to a funding formula that pre-ACA was not serving the people who need it most. The answer is certainly not a permanent program formula that treats Illinois Medicaid beneficiaries as less than enrollees in any other state.
House Leadership has explained that the AHCA is only the first step in reforming our health care system and that budget reconciliation rules prevent necessary, broader structural changes in this legislation. I look forward to working with you in the crucial next step of this reform process to legislate fairness and parity in the Medicaid funding formula and ensure that all Americans who rely on this program as a last resort are treated equally regardless of their zip code.
I appreciate your timely attention to this concern and look forward to your response.
Campton Hills, IL — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) announced he is now accepting applications for Summer 2017 internships in his Washington, D.C., Campton Hills and forthcoming McHenry office. The position is unpaid and will run approximately from May through August. Academic credit may be available and schedules can be flexible for those with classes or other obligations. Applicants from the 14th Congressional District are preferred. Applications are due by March 31, 2017.
“During my time in Congressman Hultgren’s office I wrote letters to concerned constituents, conducted policy research for staff members, given tours of the Capitol to fantastic people from the 14th District and drafted a short speech that the Congressman delivered on the House floor,” said Tebo, a recent intern. “Attending House and Senate hearings, learning about the history of the nation’s capital and staffing a meeting with the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs were just a few of the unforgettable moments I enjoyed in the office. I had the privilege to see the legislative process from the inside, and met fascinating people who I would not have otherwise been fortunate enough to meet; the entire experience has been invaluable.”
Applicants should be college students or recent graduates, and will assist staff with constituent relations, policy and outreach efforts. Many duties will be administrative in nature, but interns may also be asked to staff Congressman Hultgren at meetings in the district or assist legislative staff in Washington.
Applicants should email a resume, cover letter and writing sample to IL14.email@example.com and specify whether they seek a position for the Washington, D.C., Campton Hills or forthcoming McHenry office.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) has cosponsored the Financial Transparency Act of 2017 (H.R. 1530), a bill to ensure U.S. financial regulators—such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)—adopt open, searchable and consistent data reporting standards.
“Fraudsters like Bernie Madoff have fooled major U.S. regulators because many are still using 1930s pen and paper technology to handle today’s digital challenges. This archaic practice harms our investors, markets and consumers. We need regulators to use searchable, open data to improve transparency and reduce the time consumers and businesses spend each year on unnecessary paperwork,” said Rep. Hultgren. “The Financial Transparency Act encourages data standards that would make regulatory filings more transparent, useful and efficient for everyone who generates, collects and uses the information. Better decisions by investors and regulators, and lower compliance costs, will translate to faster economic growth and greater confidence in our economy.”
The Financial Transparency Act requires the Treasury Department to disseminate data standards for the whole financial regulatory sector, while directing each agency to transform its regulatory reporting regime from disconnected documents into standardized, searchable data. The bill further provides that any information required by other laws to be public must be published as open data, and includes specific directives for the SEC to improve that agency’s existing data reporting regime.
Rep. Hultgren is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities and Investment.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today delivered a statement on the House floor congratulating the Geneva High School girls basketball team for winning their first state championship on Saturday.
Following are Rep. Hultgren’s prepared remarks:
I rise today to congratulate the Geneva Vikings girls basketball team on winning their first Class 4A state championship at ISU’s Redbird Arena on Saturday.
Facing the Edwardsville Tigers, Geneva’s high school girls fought a close back-and-forth game to its final minutes.
Beating an unbeaten team is no small feat.
With just 3.7 seconds left on the clock junior guard Stephanie Hart made a shot to give the Vikings a one-point lead.
As center Grace Loberg then stole the ball from the Tigers to run out the clock, the Tigers were unable to answer, giving Geneva the win—41 to 40.
Virtually the same thing happened in the semi-final the day before when junior guard Margaret Whitley scored the game-winning point with just seconds left.
Clearly, the Vikings do well under pressure.
I applaud Coach Sarah Meadows and the Geneva Vikings on their achievement and their hard work.
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14), along with Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08), has reintroduced H.R. 1425, the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act. The bill provides immediate tax relief and reduces administrative burdens on a class of U.S. businesses that has proven itself vitally important to American workers and the economy at large. Among other events, last summer Rep. Hultgren hosted a forum at the McHenry County College Shah Center with small business owners to discuss the challenges they face—over-taxation, over-regulation and a lack of access to capital—and policies and solutions to help them grow.
“Growing up in a small business made me familiar with the struggles they face every day. When I travel throughout my district, small and mid-market business owners tell me that among many obstacles they face to expanding their operations and hiring more workers, high taxes remain central,” said Rep. Hultgren. “Small businesses are the engine of America and employ more than 2.4 million workers in Illinois alone. Yet governments tax their capital like it is personal income, and it isn’t working. As small businesses goes, so goes the American economy. As Congress considers comprehensive tax reform, it is time we give our small businesses the freedom, means and flexibility to expand and create jobs. My bill will give these employers room to grow by giving them back time and resources.”
A national poll conducted by Job Creators Network shows that only one-in-five of small business owners plan to hire more employees over the next year. Among other challenges, small business owners cite their tax burden as a main obstacle to growing their business. Pass-through businesses, organized as S Corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and LLCs, comprise more than 60 percent of American companies and more than 50 percent of private sector jobs. Because these businesses “pass through” income and losses to the owner(s), many are subject to combined state and federal income tax rates over 50 percent.
Key provisions of the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act include:
Washington, DC — As Congress prepares to take on the issue of comprehensive tax reform, Congressmen Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Municipal Finance Caucus, have again sent a bipartisan letter to leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee in support of a critical tool that helps local and state governments finance new roads, schools, hospitals, fire stations and more. Also signed by 154 of their colleagues (95 Democrats, 61 Republicans total), the letter asks leadership to reject any proposal to cap or eliminate the deduction on tax-exempt municipal bonds used to finance the vast majority of infrastructure projects in America’s communities.
Nearly two-thirds of core infrastructure investments in the United States are financed with municipal bonds. Proposals previously submitted by federal officials have limited the value of tax benefits for municipal bonds, or eliminated the tax exemption on municipal bond interest altogether.
“Municipal bonds are a lifeline to local communities looking to expand a hospital or repair their infrastructure,” said Congressman Hultgren. “These tools of ‘fiscal federalism’ allow municipalities to raise their own funds tax-free, using their own expertise and avoiding the heavy bureaucracy of the federal government. We should preserve this Main Street financing tool for municipalities intimately connected to the needs of their communities.”
As a former county councilman, county executive and president of the Maryland Association of Counties, Congressman Ruppersberger believes that tax-exempt bonds are among the most efficient ways to fund critical infrastructure projects that have created hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“If the federal income tax exemption is eliminated or limited, states and localities will pay more to finance projects, leading to less infrastructure investment and fewer jobs,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Worse, they will be forced to shift costs to their main revenue source – property taxes – hitting the already-suffering real estate market and the wallets of American homeowners.”
Municipal bonds have funded more than $1.9 trillion worth of infrastructure construction. This financing went to the construction of schools, hospitals, airports, affordable housing, water and sewer facilities, public power utilities, roads and public transit. In 2015 alone, more than $400 billion in municipal bonds were issued to finance the projects that touch the daily lives of every American citizen and business.
In Illinois, municipal finance has helped fund key infrastructure improvements:
The full letter signed by all 156 Members of Congress is below:
Dear Chairman Brady and Ranking Member Neal:
As Congress considers tax reform and infrastructure financing, we, the undersigned, write to express our strong support for an already potent tool already in hand – the tax-exempt municipal bond. For more than a century, states and local governments have depended on this reliable and efficient means of financing.
Nearly two-thirds of core infrastructure investments in the United States are financed with municipal bonds. In 2015 alone, more than $400 billion in municipal bonds were issued to finance the projects that touch the daily lives of every American citizen and business. They are the roads we drive on, schools for our children, affordable family housing, water systems that supply safe drinking water, courthouses, hospitals and clinics to treat the sick, airports and ports that help move products domestically and overseas, and, in some cases, the utility plants that power our homes, businesses, and factories. These are the pro-growth investments which spur job creation, help our economies grow, and strengthen our communities.
A combination of local control and local responsibility makes municipal bonds an incredibly effective and efficient tool. Voters throughout the country overwhelmingly support tax-exempt municipal bonds, which are either approved by locally-elected officials or directly through bond referenda – fiscal federalism at its finest. This must help explain why the default rate is less than 0.01%. Federal tax exemption reduces the cost of issuing municipal bonds, but it is these voters who will pay the interest and principle on this debt. As a result, over the last decade overall state and local borrowing has actually declined in proportion to the economy, while still financing more than $2 trillion in new infrastructure investments. And, if simply left alone, municipal bonds likely will finance another $3 trillion in new infrastructure investments by 2026.
Furthermore, millions of Americans depend on municipal bonds for their economic security, and invest in them because of their low-risk nature. Nearly three-quarters of individual investors earn less than $200,000 per year and more than three-quarters are 55 or older. Businesses also rely on municipal bonds as a safe, stable, long-term investment.
In conclusion, changes to the tax-code should recognize the vital role of tax-exempt municipal bonds. Any changes under consideration to the tax exempt status that would increase the cost of financing for states and local government should be provided very careful consideration. We believe the current tax-exempt status contributes to efficient economic growth that benefits all Americans.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to open up more opportunities for employees to share a stake in the companies they work for every day. The Encouraging Employee Ownership Act (EEOA), H.R. 1343, cuts through red tape and eases the ability of companies to offer ownership to their hardworking employees. Rep. Hultgren was joined by original cosponsors Reps. John Delaney (D-MD-06), Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-09), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Tom MacArthur (R-NJ-03).
The bill previously passed the House in the 114th Congress as part of H.R. 1675, the Capital Markets Improvement Act of 2016.
“Employees who own a stake in the company they work hard for every day want to see it do well and will work hard to make that happen. When the company succeeds, the employee succeeds. Employee-owned companies in my district have shown me first-hand how important ownership is to boosting a company’s performance and attracting top talent,” said Rep. Hultgren. “Unfortunately, high compliance costs and red tape limit how much ownership these companies can safely offer to their deserving employees. Forcing a company to make confidential disclosures that could easily fall into the wrong hands and harm the company discourages ownership. We should be applauding employee ownership in businesses from the board room to the shop floor. This bill would open up more opportunities for employees to be rewarded for pouring sweat into their jobs every day.”
Warren Ribley, President and CEO of the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents companies that employ thousands of residents in the 14th Congressional District, believes that making it easier for companies to offer employee ownership helps Illinois businesses expand and hire more workers:
“As someone who has worked in economic development for most of my career, I know that offering an ownership stake to employees is a critical tool in recruiting top talent to job-generating companies. And there is no doubt that an equity stake encourages employees to drive hard for success of the enterprise.
“[EEOA] promises to aid in job creation in Illinois’ growing technology sector, especially for the many early stage companies with whom we assist along their commercialization path.”
Currently, SEC Rule 701 mandates various disclosures for privately held companies that sell more than $5 million worth of securities for employee compensation over a twelve month period. These disclosures include risk factors, copies of the plans under which the offerings are made and certain financial statements.
The EEOA amends SEC Rule 701 to raise this disclosure threshold from $5 million to $10 million and adjust the threshold for inflation every five years. Issuers that are exempt from disclosure would still have to comply with all pertinent antifraud and civil liability requirements.
Rep. Hultgren is the Vice-Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities and Investment.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14), Luke Messer (R-IN-6) and David Scott (D-GA-13) have reintroduced legislation to improve the information provided about federal student loans to students and families by requiring the annual percentage rate (APR) to be disclosed. The APR helps borrowers understand the true cost of a loan so they can make good financial decisions. Current law mandates that the APR must be disclosed upfront before someone borrowing from a bank signs on the dotted line. Borrowers of loans issued by the Department of Education are not provided this information up front.
“The federal government omits the annual percentage rate when presenting the cost of a loan to young borrowers and families, doing them a gross disservice as they make plans for future payments,” said Congressman Hultgren. “The Department of Education is the largest consumer lender in the United States, and should provide the most transparent and helpful information to borrowers. Helping borrowers understand their debt obligations is an important first step to ensuring they are able to make their payments, and also helps prevent taxpayers from being on the hook for delinquent borrowers.”
“Every student should be able to make an informed decision about how to best finance their education,” said Congressman Scott. “This legislation is a good step toward increasing transparency and accessibility for students who take out federal loans to fund their higher education.”
The Transparency in Student Lending Act, H.R. 1283, aims to provide more information to consumers by requiring the disclosure of the annual percentage rate at the time of application for a federal student loan. APR is expressed as a single percentage number that represents the actual yearly costs of funds over the term of the loan and takes into account the stated interest rate of the loan and any fees or additional costs associated with the loan.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) released a statement following President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress:
“Tonight President Trump laid out a bold and optimistic plan for creating jobs across the country by cutting unnecessary regulations that are choking job growth and reforming our stifling tax code. As I have heard from countless small business owners and employers throughout my district, regulations and high taxes are the number one obstacle to hiring more workers. That hurts Illinois families and individuals who expect and deserve more. I look forward to the President signing legislation like the SCRUB Act into law. The bill passed the House this week and includes my legislation to get rid of outdated and duplicative regulations so businesses can get back to hiring and making things again. I look forward to the President working with Congress on reforming our tax system to one that is simpler and fairer for businesses and families. I look forward to working with the President to renew our infrastructure through municipal financing and local control over projects. I am encouraged by President Trump’s call for unity, and I urge all Americans to come together across our divisions and work together to build a stronger nation and a brighter future for our children.”
332 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Born and raised in Illinois, and having spent more than 15 years serving Illinois and its citizens at multiple levels of government, Congressman Randy Hultgren represents the state’s 14th Congressional District. The district is comprised of seven suburban counties including McHenry, Lake, Kendall, Kane, DuPage, DeKalb and Will.
In Washington, Congressman Hultgren has committed himself to working for fiscal sanity, real healthcare reform, and pro-growth policies that will put Americans back to work. In the current 113th Congress, Randy serves on the Financial Services and Space, Science & Technology Committees.
Randy was elected to the DuPage County Board and County Forest Preserve Board in 1994, to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1999, and to the Illinois Senate in 2007. At every level, he has fought for prosperity and free enterprise and for smaller, smarter government.
Randy served on the Financial Institutions Committees in the Illinois House and Senate and is credentialed in FINRA Series 7, 6 and 63. He later became a Vice President at Performance Trust Investment Advisors in Chicago.
Randy was born March 1, 1966 in Park Ridge, Illinois. He graduated from Bethel College in 1988 and later attended Chicago-Kent College of Law, graduating in 1993. He currently resides in Winfield with his wife, Christy, and four children.
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I sent a letter to Speaker Ryan on new Medicaid formula in American Health Care Act & its effect on Illinois. READ-… https://t.co/kBc82PITNY
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Important hearing I co-chaired today on the importance of civil society in countries around the world. https://t.co/x68EtemB4C
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I sent a letter to Speaker Ryan yesterday urging House leadership to "seriously consider including provisions" to the American Health Care Act
USA TODAY highlighted my bill to lower tax rates on "smaller companies that employ nearly half of non-public sector American workers." I look
Good hands-on meeting this week with the Farm Credit Council Board advocating for rural America and agricultural producers. With the Farm Bill
Help my staff and me serve the 14th District this summer. Details inside!
America’s veterans deserve the highest quality medical care possible. The vast majority of employees at VA are honest and hardworking, and