Support health care reform in Illinois

Letter to the Editor
Published: 3/24/2009 12:07 AM

With the debate for national health care reform in full swing in Washington, Illinois is becoming a leader in assuring that all citizens access to quality health care. On March 24, a bill will be unveiled in Springfield that establishes a statewide health care program for every single Illinois resident.

House Bill 311 - the Health Care for All Illinois Act - would create a single-payer health care system that would ensure no Illinois citizen would be left uninsured. The coverage would include doctor, hospital, long-term, mental health, dental and vision care, as well as prescription drugs and medical supplies.

There would be no more premiums, co-payments or deductibles - practices created by the private insurance companies which often inhibit access to care and unfairly burdens individuals, small business and public institutions such as our municipal government and school districts with extreme health care costs.

Under a single-payer system, the government pays for health care that is delivered in the private sector. Doctors remain in private practice and the government does not own or manage medical practices or hospitals.

The program would pay for itself by eliminating wasteful private insurance profits and administration, such as paperwork and billing, which currently account for 24 percent of every health care dollar.

While lobbyists in Washington from the private insurance companies drown out the call from the majority of the public who support a government sponsored health care system, the state of Illinois has the opportunity to listen to its people and support true health care reform that works for everyone. Call your state representative today and ask him or her to support HB 311.

Laurel Bault