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Illinois Democrats unveil reporton Illinoisans in danger of losing health care

Today, during a press conference in the lobby of Stroger Hospital in Chicago, Illinois Democrats unveiled a new report, issued by the Democratic staff on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which outlined the number of people in Cook County who are living with pre-existing conditions and others who are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage or being charged higher premiums due to the latest Republican attack on Obamacare – a Texas lawsuit that takes direct aim at Americans’ health care. After releasing the report, Reps. Schakowsky, Kelly, and Rush released the following statement.

“The report we unveiled today demonstrates exactly why we must keep fighting to protect consumers from insurance company abuses and Republican attacks,” said Rep Schakowsky, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus' (CPC) Health Care Task Force. “More than one-quarter of a million residents of Cook County who buy individual health insurance are at risk because of Republican efforts to take away Affordable Care Act protections. If you have a pre-existing condition – whether it’s cancer, diabetes, depression or asthma – you are at risk. If you are a woman, if you work in an occupation where you might get injured, or if you are between the ages of 50-64, you are at risk. We won’t turn our backs on these people – our fight to protect Americans’ health care in Washington and in Springfield will go on.”

“Once again, Congressional Republicans and this Administration are waging all-out war on the health of Illinois families. While families are focused on sending their kids back to school, Republicans are working to strip 5 million Illinoisans of their health insurance because they have a pre-existing condition like diabetes, asthma or cancer. No one wants to get sick but it can and does happen to all of us. We cannot go back to the days when insurance executives got to decide who got coverage and who had to go without health insurance,” said Rep. Robin Kelly, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust.

“Washington Republicans have waged an all-out assault on Americans with pre-existing conditions and it is crystal clear that they will stop at nothing to erode the protections of the Affordable Care Act.  They are attempting to take health care away from nearly 130 million Americans, 5 million of which are Illinois residents who are in the Republican crosshairs.  It is utterly appalling to witness their disdain for hard-working families with their constant and relentless attacks on people with pre-existing conditions.  I am proud to say that Democrats are continuing to fight every day to protect our care,” said Rep. Bobby Rush.

This press conference and report come shortly after Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed HB 2624, a bill designed to limit the sales of junk insurance plans. This bill was designed to help protect those with pre-existing conditions as well as all individuals who want affordable health insurance. Reps. Schakowsky, Kelly, and Rush were also joined by Congressmen Danny Davis, Mike Quigley, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Cook Country Board President Toni Preckwinkle, as well as Jeremy Wechsler, constituent of Rep. Schakowsky’s living with a pre-existing condition who spoke about his experience.

Read the report here.

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