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Goldberg Kohn Principal David Chizewer, along with John Bouman and Stephanie Altman at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law and Tom Yates at the Legal Council for Health Justice, has been representing a class of Illinois Medicaid beneficiaries to make sure they receive access to healthcare.

After a ground-breaking win more than a decade ago, Mr. Chizewer and the team returned to court this past June to make sure Illinois' Medicaid program is adequately funded during the state's elongated budget crisis. On Wednesday, June 7, 2017, in connection with a motion filed by Goldberg Kohn principal David Chizewer and his co-counsel at the Shriver Center and Council for Health Justice, Judge Lefkow issued an order requiring the state Comptroller to increase the payments to the Medicaid system.

On June 30, 2017, Judge Lefkow ordered the state of Illinois to take greater advantage of the federal matching dollars and increase Medicaid funding by more than $2 billion. That order is credited with prompting the new state budget.

The case originated when the team represented a class of Medicaid recipients in a case against the state of Illinois for non-compliance with the federal Medicaid requirements, including the duty to provide Medicaid recipients with access to healthcare equal to the generally insured population. After a four-week bench trial in 2004, at which Goldberg Kohn attorneys served as lead counsel, Judge Joan Lefkow issued an opinion finding that the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Illinois Department of Human Services were violating the rights of Medicaid-eligible children in Cook County to receive health care under the Medicaid program.

After reviewing Judge Lefkow's opinion, the parties negotiated a Consent Decree, pursuant to which the more than 600,000 members of the plaintiff class received dramatically enhanced health care under the Medicaid program in Illinois. That Consent Decree is still in place today and was the premise for Judge Lefkow's most recent orders.