Illinois residents “left in lurch” under new plan
According to healthcare experts, the current GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”), if adopted, may hit Illinois harder than other states. The current plan was revealed last Tuesday (March 7), and Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is worried about its potential repercussions for Illinois.
“Illinois won’t do very well under the changes they’re recommending,” said Rauner. (1) The Governor said that he is “very concerned” that the state’s residents might be “left in the lurch” under the proposal. He’s especially worried that it will result in “pressure to reduce the insurance coverage for people in Illinois.” (2)
Rauner added that the current law, the Affordable Care Act, is “not affordable and needs to change,” saying “I support changing it but we have to be thoughtful about it.” (1) But, when pressed for specific recommendations, he declined to comment, saying that “it’s a little early for me to publicly state what I’ve recommended.” (3)
Most of the key details – like cost and coverage – of the proposed plan are still unclear, but it appears that federal Medicaid funds would be reduced over a multi-year period. (2) Because Illinois was one of the many states that expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (which provided more Illinoisans coverage and avoided the dreaded “coverage gap”), it could lose significant funds. (2).
Hospitals may suffer under the new plan too. Currently, nearly half of Illinois hospitals are either losing money or barely making ends meet, and according to healthcare experts, the Medicaid expansion has been a key factor in solvency. (2).