Illinois considers health insurance for all residents

Illinois, home to 1.8 million unisured people, may try to extend medical coverage to all residents.

The current debate began with the passage of the Health Care Justice Act in 2004, which stated that "it is a policy goal of the state of Illinois to insure that all residents have access to quality health care at costs that are affordable."

The Act also started a process to include public comment on health care issues throughout the state and now, a new 29-member task force plans to deliver a report on various reform proposals to the legislature as early as August. The report will comment on a wide range of options, including expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income adults, providing health insurance subsidies or tax incentives to small businesses, and letting the uninsured buy coverage through new insurance pools, several task force members said.

The question now is, can the 'Fighting Illini' avoid the mud-wrestling of competing special interests that have halted health reform efforts in other states and at the federal level?

Read the article in the Chicago Tribune


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