Illinois Democrats in the House once again ask Gov. Rauner to get engaged to protect Illinoisans' health care

            Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Congressman Bobby L. Rush, members of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, led all Illinois Democrats in the House of Representatives on a letter asking Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to work with them to lower health care costs and expand health care access across the state. The letter comes more than a year after the Members sent a similar letter asking Governor Rauner to work with them to prevent the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although Governor Rauner failed to raise his voice against the Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, the members today renewed their call for Governor Rauner to protect Illinoisans’ health care. 

            In today’s letter, the Members outlined how beneficial the ACA has been for Illinois, expanding coverage to hundreds of thousands of residents, guaranteeing coverage despite pre-existing conditions, assuring essential health benefits, limiting the ‘age tax’, removing annual or lifetime limits, and providing premium assistance. However, as the members stated in today’s letter,

“Rather than building on the ACA, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans are currently pushing policies that would reduce enrollment and raise premiums and out-of-pocket costs for middle-class families.”

This sabotage has already had devastating consequences. In fact, as stated in the letter,

“According to the latest data from Gallup, 3.2 million fewer people had health insurance coverage during the first year of the Trump Administration, relative to 2016.” Unfortunately, unless significant action is taken, the worst may be yet to come for Illinois. In today’s letter, the members pointed out that:

“According to a recent analysis conducted by the Urban Institute, two measures alone -- the elimination of the individual mandate coupled with the Administration’s push for barebones coverage, would increase premiums for ACA-compliant plans in Illinois by 19.4 percent and harm 327,000 Illinoisans who would have been protected under the ACA but would now be either uninsured or severely underinsured.”

The Illinois Democrats made clear that there are ways the state can act to protect its consumers,

“In the absence of a commitment from President Trump and the Republican-led Congress to protect Americans’ access to health care, states can and must step up to ensure families are protected from crushing health care costs by ensuring access to affordable insurance that covers needed benefits.”

In their letter, the Members listed and expanded on six options to help ensure stability in the health care marketplace and lower costs for Illinois residents. The options included are:

  • Protect state residents by limiting the sale of sub-par junk insurance plans.
  • Strengthen state oversight of the individual market to improve plan participation and lower costs.
  • Protect consumers by ensuring their health plan provides essential health benefits, like hospital care or prescription drugs.
  • Boost coverage (and lower costs) by increasing outreach, enrollment and marketing.
  • Use existing Affordable Care Act (ACA) authority to craft a reinsurance program to reduce health insurance premiums.
  • Broaden the insurance risk pool by passing a state-level individual mandate or similar policy designed to boost enrollment.

The members closed their letter with the following message for Governor Bruce Rauner:

“Republicans in Washington have proven to be incapable of crafting a replacement for the ACA that would increase coverage and lower costs for American families and they remain unwilling to seriously engage in bipartisan improvements to the ACA.  For the sake of our constituents, we once again urge you to take action to mitigate the impact of their harmful actions and inability to solve the problems that exist in our insurance markets today.  We hope to be able to work with you on those efforts and thank you for your attention.”

In addition to Reps. Schakowsky and Rush, the letter was signed by Reps. Bill Foster, Mike Quigley, Robin L. Kelly, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny K. Davis, Bradley S. Schneider, Luis V. Gutiérrez, Daniel W. Lipinski, and Cheri Bustos.

The full text of the letter is available here.

# # #

  • Office Locations

    Office Name Location Image Map URL
    Washington DC 2229 Rayburn House Office
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 333-4455
    Fax: (202) 333-5522
    Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    Phone: (773) 506-7100
    Fax: (773) 506-9202
    Evanston Office
    820 Davis Street, Suite 105
    Evanston, IL 60201
    Phone: (847) 328-3409
    Fax: (847) 328-3425
    Glenview Office 1852 Johns Drive
    Glenview, IL 60025
    Phone: 847-328-3409
    Fax: 847-328-3425

    How to use: Insert <span class="EXACT_VALUE_LABEL_AS_ENTERED_BELOW">&nbsp;</span> where you'd like the value to be populated.

    Non-breaking space within span tags - &nbsp; - is required for WYSIWYG.

    (no spaces or special characters)


    Comments (optional)
    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills