Protect Our Care Illinois (POCIL) wants to sincerely thank President Biden for signing the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Senators Durbin, Duckworth and the members of our congressional delegation who fought for and voted for this historic bill.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vast shortcomings of our nation’s health system and underscored the critical importance of affordable health coverage and care for all people and families. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid have played an instrumental role in providing millions in Illinois with access to health care during the pandemic, the reality is too many people are still left out of our health care system or cannot afford to go to the doctor. This is especially true for people with low incomes, people with disabilities and Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC), who have borne the brunt of the pandemic and already face unjust and discriminatory barriers to health care.
The ARP marks a historic victory as it is the first time in over a decade that the ACA and Medicaid will become more affordable, accessible and equitable. The ARP focuses on those hardest hit by the pandemic by eliminating premiums for many people with low-incomes and reducing premiums for everyone else with moderate incomes. In Illinois, 130,500 uninsured people will become newly eligible for tax credits to purchase a health plan and almost 20,000 uninsured people will now become eligible for $0 premium coverage.
In addition to the Marketplace improvements, the bill will address maternal mortality head-on by extending Medicaid coverage for postpartum women for 12 months instead of right now where they lose coverage 60 days after birth. This is especially important for Illinois which has one of the highest maternal death rates for Black mothers than any state in the US.
POCIL knows that there is much more work to be done to make health care more affordable, accessible and equitable for everyone in Illinois; however, the ARP is a huge step for those who need it the most. We look forward to working with Governor Pritzker and the state of Illinois to help implement the ARP and provide relief to Illinois residents.