Urge Governor to Sign Executive Order Implementing Illinois’ Insurance Marketplace (Exchange)
– The Campaign for Better Health Care today sent a letter signed by 109 diverse organizations
throughout the state, representing over 2.5 million Illinoisans, to Governor Quinn calling on him to sign an Executive Order to implement Illinois’ health insurance marketplace (exchange) immediately. Illinois small businesses and Illinois families are tired of you waiting. Illinois needs a state insurance exchange not a federal exchange.
“Now that the Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare, it is time for Governor Quinn to take action, and for the rest of political establishment get on board and work to make the Illinois Insurance Exchange the best one in the nation. We are tired of continuous political posturing in Springfield,” commented Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care.
Duffett continues, "the people of illinois have waited for two years for the General Assembly to take action in establishing an Illinois Insurance Exchange - they failed. Now it is up to you to show the people of Illinois that your walk across Northern IL was not done in vain. You must stand with small businesses and the consumers and not the insurance industry. Any further delay will play in the hands of the insurance industry".
A major provision of Obamacare is that states must develop a competitive health care marketplace
, or insurance exchange. In Illinois, this marketplace will eventually enroll over 1 million Illinoisans. Those that already have insurance they like and want to keep may never need to use the marketplace - but for those that do need to purchase insurance, the marketplace website will be fast and easy to use, and will let consumers make honest comparisons among plans to choose the ones that best fit their needs and budgets. This marketplace will be a lifesaver for small businesses, sole proprietors, and the uninsured.
“Unfortunately, the Illinois General Assembly has chosen not to
take legislative action this past legislative session, letting down hundreds of thousands of uninsured Illinoisans, small businesses, and individuals, and jeopardizing their peace of mind,” commented Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care, the organization sponsoring the letter initiative. Duffett continued, “This marketplace will provide access to health care - in turn providing security for families and strengthening the middle class. Governor Quinn needs to show leadership and take action now.”
Unless action is taken, Illinois will be unable to access over $200 million in federal funds available for the development and implementation of the new Illinois marketplace.
The letter states, “We believe Governor’s Quinn’s Executive Order must have built-in, well-defined principles and standards protecting Illinois consumers and small businesses. This marketplace must serve the interest of the uninsured, small businesses, and consumers and not the financial interest of the insurance industry. So much is on the line for making sure that the new Marketplace Governing Board is independent and free of conflict of interest. Specifically:
- No insurance industry representatives on the governing board of the new marketplace, so as to avoid undue influence on the development or following of the rules for operating it;
- The board must have the right to negotiate with insurers and develop real cost containment measures;
- The insurance industry stands to gain over a million new customers from the development of the marketplace. Since they will profit from it, the financing of the marketplace should come from their massive reserves of over $30 BILLION dollars – not from taxing the small businesses and consumers.
"Health care reform has already proven to be morally, financially, and spiritually successful for millions of Illinoisans already. The Illinois Marketplace will begin to provide health care access to a million other Illinoisans, a moral imperative. The delay in moving forward is unacceptable. We call upon Governor Quinn to show his moral committment to the people of Illinois by signing an Executive Order to establish Illinois' marketplace," said Rev. Dr. Moss III, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Like all Illinoisans, we are working hard to keep our heads above water in this sluggish economy. The cost of health care or lack there of is a major cost factor for us. We are anxiously awaiting the establishment of the marketplace, as it will have a strong positive impact on businesses and consumers. But we cannot wait until next session for the Illinois General Assembly to take action. That is why we are urging Governor Quinn to sign an Executive Order now establishing Illinois' marketplace," stated Dan Callahan, owner of a small business, Gregg Florist in Peoria.
Once an Executive Order is in place, Illinois can begin moving forward and then the Illinois General Assembly will need to codify components of the Executive Order during the Fall Veto Session, after the November election.
Due to legislative roadblocks, the governors of both Rhode Island and New York have already issued Executive Orders to create the competitive health care marketplace in their states. "We believe Illinois needs to follow these examples in putting our state on the right track towards ensuring access to quality, affordable health care for all Illinoisans," concluded Duffett.
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About the Campaign for Better Health Care
We believe that accessible, affordable, quality health care is a basic human right for ALL people. The Campaign for Better Health Care is the state’s largest coalition representing over 300 diverse organizations, organizing to help create and advocate for an accessible, quality health care system for all. For more information, visit www.cbhconline.org