Gov. Rauner, stop preventing Illinoisans’ access to quality healthcare!

Protect Our Care IL is deeply disappointed in Governor Rauner’s veto of two bills that would have protected Illinoisans against inadequate coverage and diminished access to care.  By vetoing HB 2624, the Short-term, Limited Duration Insurance Act and HB 4165, the “Do No Harm” Health Care Act Governor Rauner is sending a clear signal that access to comprehensive care and the opportunity for public input are not priorities for this administration.

HB 2624 was a bipartisan, negotiated bill that would have protected Illinois consumers from a new federal rule that turns back the clock on protections for consumers with pre-existing conditions. HB 2624 would have limited Illinois consumers’ exposure to short term health insurance plans which provide diminished coverage parading as a more affordable option. The bill would have kept these plans truly short term by limiting their coverage duration in a year, requiring clear and easily understandable language on all marketing and promotional materials, and giving DOI the regulatory muscle to actually protect consumers against these plans. With Governor Rauner’s veto, Illinoisans are now at risk of being sold stingy coverage that denies anyone with a pre-existing condition and will drive up premiums for everyone by pulling healthy, young individuals away from the marketplace.

Reaction by HB 2624 sponsor Rep. Laura Fine:

I am deeply disappointed with Governor Rauner’s veto of HB 2624. I remain very concerned about Illinoisans with pre-existing conditions who will end up in a short-term, limited duration health insurance plan and be left exposed to lack of care and exuberant out of pocket medical costs in 2019 and beyond.

HB 4165 would have ensured that the members of the General Assembly and the constituents they represent had input in a public process if any Illinois Governor decided to use a federal waiver to reduce healthcare access and treatment. In the last 6 months alone, we have seen Governors in many other states take up the Trump administration’s offer and encouragement to apply for federal waivers to restrict access to healthcare of its lowest income residents. The Do No Harm Healthcare Act would have given members of the IL General Assembly the power to provide a critical check and balance to review any attempts to weaken or reduce our healthcare. Unfortunately, with Governor Rauner’s veto, Illinois is similarly vulnerable to any upcoming attacks.

Reaction by HB 4165 sponsor Rep. Greg Harris:

Gov. Rauner’s veto of HB 4165 undermines sound policy and risks access to high quality comprehensive health care for all Illinoisans.  Rather than commit to public input, vetoing HB 4165 allows the Governor unchecked power to issue waivers that could let insurance companies drop your coverage for maternity care, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and prescription drug coverage, or to charge sky high rates to people with pre-existing conditions. We are seeing our heath care being treated like pawns in a game, moved not for the people who need healthcare, but by the insurance companies who profit from it.

We’ve already seen the uninsured rate start to inch back up in Illinois over the last few years due to sabotage by the federal government; now it’s up to the states to protect the health of their residents. With these two vetoes, Governor Rauner has abdicated his responsibility to look out for the best interests of Illinois residents and protect our care.