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The Supreme Court Upheld Health Reform, NOW It’s Time for Quinn to Act!

Dear Friends,

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) emailed you recently with the great news that the US Supreme Court had upheld the national health reform law, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). NOW IS THE TIME for Illinois to establish the Health Benefits Exchange, and we are asking you to TAKE ACTION to call on
Governor Quinn to establish the Exchange through an Executive Order.

We need Governor Quinn to act quickly to establish the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange to ensure that Illinois does not miss key funding opportunities and deadlines. Please read on for the THREE ways YOU can take action, followed by more information on the US Supreme Court decisions, and what the next steps are for implementing health reform!

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TAKE ACTION

1. Add your name to CCHCC’s petition calling on Governor Quinn to establish the Health Benefits Exchange in Illinois! CCHCC will deliver the petition to Governor Quinn’s office.

Add your name here!

2. Call Governor Quinn and tell him to establish a pro-consumer Illinois Health Benefits Exchange using an Executive Order!

Springfield Office: (217) 782-0244 or Chicago Office: (312) 814-2121

Sample Script:

“Hi. My name is ____, and I am calling from ____. I am
calling on Governor Quinn to use his power to issue an Executive Order to
create a pro-consumer Health Exchange in Illinois today. The Exchange
should be set up so that no insurance representatives serve on the Board,
insurance companies should help pay for the Exchange, and the Exchange must
have the power to negotiate with insurance companies to contain costs.”

3. Call your state legislators – Senator Frerichs and Representative
Jakobsson – and tell them to call on Quinn to establish a pro-consumer
Illinois Health Benefits Exchange using an Executive Order!

Sen. Frerichs: (217) 355-5252
Rep. Jakobsson: (217) 373-5000

Sample Script:

“Hi. My name is ____, and I am calling from ____. I am
asking you as my state legislator to call on Governor Quinn to use his
power to issue an Executive Order to create a pro-consumer Health Exchange
in Illinois today. The Exchange should be set up so that no insurance
representatives serve on the Board, insurance companies should help pay for
the Exchange, and the Exchange must have the power to negotiate with
insurance companies to contain costs.”

* * * * * * * * * *

US SUPREME COURT RULING ON HEALTH REFORM:

Last Thursday, June 28, the US Supreme Court upheld the health reform law! The Court held up the Individual Mandate as a tax. Most individuals will be required to have health insurance, and, based on the Court’s decision, individuals can be taxed if they are required to carry health insurance, but for whatever reason, choose not to do so. In 2014, most people who do not currently have insurance will qualify for the expanded Medicaid program or for subsidies that cover most, if not all, of their insurance costs. For more information on how this works, please click here.

The Supreme Court decide that the federal government could not withhold Medicaid funding to states that choose not to expand their Medicaid eligibility requirements in 2014. Even with this ruling, we expect many states to choose to expand Medicaid as the federal government would reimburse states 100% of the costs for covering individuals within the new eligibility range in 2014. In 2017 the reimbursement rate would be 95% and in 2020 the rate would be 90%. Gov. Quinn made clear that Illinois would participate in the expanded Medicaid program: “Illinois is going forward with the president… we are not backing down. We want everybody in, nobody left out when it comes to decent health care coverage. Our state will be
healthier and stronger, our costs for our employers will be lower if we carry this law out to its extent.”

CCHCC will continue to focus on ensuring that Illinois moves forward with the state-level tasks of implementing health reform, such as creating a Health Benefits Exchange. In May, the US Dept. Health and Human Services announced a third model for exchanges (either a state or regional exchange vs. a federal exchange). The new federal-state partnership model would give states – that are behind in setting up their exchange or face contentious political divisions preventing progress forward – a chance to work cooperatively with the federal government for the first year until they can as they continue to set up their own exchange. While this is better than no exchange, this limits states from having full governance and control over how their exchange runs and operates. States have until November 16, 2012, to submit their plans to establish an exchange in their state and Illinois’ Fall Veto legislative session does not occur until after that deadline.

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On behalf of Champaign County Health Care Consumers, we thank you for taking action to ensure that Illinoisans have access to quality and affordable health care through a locally-governed pro-consumer Health Benefits Exchange!

Sincerely,

Champaign County Health Care Consumers

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