Illinois should expand health insurance coverage to all Illinoisans.
Illinois is stronger when every person has access to care and coverage, creating healthier and more financially stable families and communities. Uninsured residents will eventually, by age or accident, find themselves in emergency rooms and the uncompensated care health system. Illinois has an interest in providing primary and preventative care early, rather than more expensive and intrusive care when it is too late.
Expanding health insurance coverage to all in Illinois would:
- Contribute to better access to care, increased use of preventive services, better management of chronic illness and, eventually, longer and healthier lives.
- Create pathways to treatment for people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.
- Prevent major financial crisis for individuals and families. A national study found that 62% of all consumer bankruptcies in 2007 involved medical debt.
- Save Illinois taxpayers money and allow the government to recoup a portion of any health insurance investment in the form of higher future tax payments.
- Result in increased college attendance, lower mortality rates, and higher earned wages.
- Create a healthier pool of employees, who take fewer sick days and are more productive.
- Reduce the number of uninsured patients seen in hospitals and other medical providers, and therefore reduce their uncompensated care costs.
- Reduce the burden on local governments who currently pay for a portion of health care for the undocumented.
- Help fill the gap Illinois hospitals face by reductions in Medicare DSH payments over the next few years. Federal and state governments spend billions of dollars to offset the cost of uncompensated care in the form of DSH payments.