Illinois Health Departments Bolster Senators’ Fight Against New Health Care Bill

May 25, 2017

In a letter released this morning, 14 public health departments across Illinois (along with IPHA)have urged Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to vote against the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and encourage their fellow senators to do the same.

“Our counties and cities cannot afford the AHCA,” reads the statement, co-signed by public health departments from Chicago to southeastern Wabash County and in between. “By eliminating the positive benefits of the Affordable Care Act, our communities will regress to a ‘sick-care’ system that focuses on treating disability and disease rather than preventing it.”

Illinois health departments recognize the great benefits the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought to people across the state; Medicaid expansion made available under the ACA granted more than 650,000 low-income Illinois residents life-saving health insurance in 2017. In total, approximately 1.2 million Illinoisans would lose health insurance coverage under current versions of the AHCA. The letter outlines other dangerous changes that the AHCA would bring to Illinoisans, including:

-Elimination of the 90% federal match for Medicaid-eligible Illinoisans
-Heavily restricted Medicaid qualifications, resulting in the loss of insurance for many across the state
-Elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), a $93 million annual program that supports public health departments
-No viable plan for covering Illinoisans with pre-existing conditions, who would no longer be protected from insurance discrimination under the AHCA

This statement by Illinois-wide public health departments comes on the heels of the Congressional Budget Office’s evaluation of the cost of the AHCA yesterday, which indicates that the AHCA would yield poor economic outcomes for the nation on top of poor health outcomes for Americans.

Senators Durbin and Duckworth have been outspoken critics of the AHCA and strong supporters of the ACA, which has insured an estimated 20 million Americans since 2014.

Join these public health departments in encouraging Illinois senators to denounce the AHCA; share your reason why you want to keep the ACA along with the following hashtags: #ILSaveACA #ProtectOurCare #CareNotChaos #BrokenPromises



Press contact:
Charlie Rice-Minoso, PCI
312.558.1770 ext. 104