SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Medicaid recipients considering clinical trials for cancer treatment would no longer face possible rejection of coverage for care under legislation advanced out of the Senate Human Services Committee by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on Wednesday.

“Access to the latest, most advanced cancer treatments can mean the difference between life and death for patients,” Manar said. “I take issue with the fact that some people are granted that access and others aren’t, simply depending on which insurance plan they have. This legislation solves that.”

An initiative of the American Cancer Society, Senate Bill 2499 requires Medicaid to cover routine care costs incurred for an approved clinical trial involving the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or any other life-threatening disease, as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine care costs for a non-clinical procedure.

“Because Medicaid beneficiaries tend to be lower income and more diverse, ensuring their participation in clinical trials makes it more likely that new therapies will be tested in a representative population,” said Shana Crews, the Illinois Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society. “With this bill, the legislature has an opportunity to ensure the viability of new cancer research in our state and to allow an additional one in five Illinois residents to have access to these new, potentially lifesaving treatments and therapies.”

More than 20% of Illinoisans are covered by Medicaid, making it the second largest type of insurance behind Medicare.

Medicare and private insurance carriers are already required to provide coverage for routine care costs in clinical trial participation. SB 2499 would align Medicaid coverage for clinical trials with coverage under those insurance plans. 

If passed, SB 2499 would make Illinois the 14th state Medicaid program – including the District of Columbia – to cover clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Because routine costs would be paid for by Medicaid if the patient were not on a clinical trial, there is minimal cost differential for Medicaid to cover these costs within a clinical trial.

SB 2499 will now move to the Senate floor for consideration.


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement in response to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s State of the State address:

“What we heard today was a vision for the state that reflects the interests of working families in rural and downstate communities. Over the past year, we’ve made tremendous strides toward rebuilding our infrastructure, uplifting our public schools, making child care more accessible, and bringing high-speed internet to rural communities. I was pleased by the governor’s renewed commitment to these issues.

“The governor acknowledged the need to continue investing in downstate economies and displayed the resolve to work in good faith with Democrats and Republicans to deliver solutions to our state’s toughest issues, such as pension reform and relieving the property tax burden on Illinois families.

“What I found most significant was the governor’s bold commitment to transform the way we think of and deliver early childhood education in Illinois. The governor and I share the belief that the benefits of child care and early childhood education should be extended to every family and student in all corners of our state.

“It matters who leads. These bold goals won’t be achieved overnight, but we have the momentum, vision, and bipartisan will we need to create a stronger Illinois.”

voter regSPRINGFIELD - Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) released the following statement regarding reports that fewer than 600 non-citizens were added to voter rolls due to administrative error:

“There is absolutely no room for administrative error when it comes to properly conducting our election system. Democrats and Republicans came together and unanimously approved automatic voter registration, and we expect it to be done correctly. We need a gaugeable plan of action from the Secretary of State’s office to make sure such errors never happen again. If it takes a Senate committee hearing to get those answers, that’s the course I’ll pursue.”

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GILLESPIE – The City of Gillespie will receive a $1 million state grant to support the city’s five-year plan to streetscape its downtown business district, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Monday at a joint press conference with Gillespie Mayor John Hicks and Grow Gillespie leader Dan Fisher.

The City of Gillespie is investing $700,000 into the streetscape project, which will make a series of significant infrastructure updates and reinvent the esthetic of downtown Gillespie’s Macoupin Street as a regional destination for shopping, dining, and other commerce. The project will also improve pedestrian safety and make downtown more accessible for residents with mobility challenges.

“The future of Gillespie is strong thanks to Grow Gillespie and the commitment of local leaders to working with the state to build a vibrant and welcoming business environment,” Manar said. “For the young and talented, these efforts proclaim that you don’t have to move away to get ahead in the 21st century economy. You have a right to your rural roots, and Grow Gillespie is doing the work to ensure Gillespie is a great place to raise a family and start a business for the next generation.”

Negotiated by Manar last year, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant was approved as part of the Rebuild Illinois infrastructure plan.

Laying the groundwork for the streetscape project is the city’s $11 million investment in a city-wide water line replacement, which is currently underway.

The streetscape design is a collaborative effort between the city and Grow Gillespie, a local group made up of volunteers, focused on fostering local pride and improving the business environment of downtown Gillespie.

“One of the our primary goals with both the city and Grow Gillespie is to make downtown ‘the place’ to be by creating an attractive and comfortable ambiance that residents and visitors alike look forward to experiencing,” said Dan Fisher, the Gillespie City Treasurer and a Grow Gillespie organizer. “Thanks to Senator Manar, we have the opportunity to move forward on our plan to revitalize our community.”


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