Illinois Health Insurance Covered Plan Wins Approval
Illinois Covered would bring down healthcare costs for all by creating affordable health insurance options for 1.4 million uninsured adults, helping small businesses and middle class families save thousands on insurance premiums, and improving the healthcare delivery system.
The Illinois Senate Public Health Committee approved Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's "Illinois Covered" proposal to give every Illinoisan access to affordable and quality health coverage. The Governor's plan will provide affordable coverage to the 1.4 million uninsured adults in Illinois and will also help many middle-income families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance plans save thousands of dollars a year on healthcare costs.
"Across Illinois, families are struggling to pay healthcare costs or forgoing medical care entirely because they don't have access to affordable healthcare - that isn't right," said Gov. Blagojevich. "We put together a comprehensive plan that will cover the uninsured, help small businesses get coverage for their employees, and save thousands of dollars each year for those with private insurance. Today's committee vote is a good first step toward giving middle class families real access to affordable health insurance."
The cost of healthcare is rising dramatically nationwide, leaving more and more people uninsured, and forcing businesses to drop or significantly cut back coverage. As a result of faster-than-inflation rate increases, the number of uninsured nationally has increased by 6 million since 2000.
In Illinois, there are approximately 1.4 million adults in Illinois who are currently uninsured. A majority, roughly 75%, are from families with moderate incomes. The Governor's "Illinois Covered" plan will provide affordable coverage to the uninsured and will also help many middle-income families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance plans save thousands a year on healthcare costs. The plan will also reform the existing healthcare system to improve quality and require more accountability.
"As family physicians, we watch patients suffer with chronic illnesses and diseases because they cannot afford the astronomical cost of healthcare coverage. The Governor's "Illinois Covered" plan would change that, and would make access to healthcare a reality for everyone in our state. We are proud to be in full support of the Governor's plan that will push Illinois to the forefront of American healthcare, and we urge Illinois' legislators to join with us to make it happen," said Kathleen J. Miller, M.D. and President of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians.
Health advocates and provider organizations from around the state have endorsed the Governor's plan, including the Illinois Hospital Association, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, AARP Illinois, the Illinois Coalition for School Health Centers, the Illinois Nurses Association, the Illinois Primary Healthcare Association, the Illinois Public Health Association, the Illinois Society for Advance Practice Nurses, the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, and the National Black Nurses Association.
"The Illinois Nurses Association strongly supports the Governor's "Illinois Covered" plan because it would give hope to millions of families who are forced to choose between healthcare and other necessities every day," said Mildred Taylor, Chair of the Illinois Nurses Association Government Relations Committee. "It is time for Illinois' lawmakers to do the right thing for Illinois families, and put their full support behind the "Illinois Covered" legislation."
The primary components of Governor Blagojevich's "Illinois Covered" plan include: