Media Contact: Tovia Siegel, Campaign Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 15, 2023
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Today, Governor JB Pritzker delivered his first combined State of the State and budget address since being sworn in for his second term in office. During his speech, the Governor outlined his vision for the year ahead including key policy and budget priorities. The Healthy Illinois Campaign is pleased to hear that healthcare, including mental health and substance use treatment as well as reproductive health services, was at the top of the list.
This year Healthy Illinois aims to build on the Campaign’s historic victories by expanding coverage to adults ages 19 to 41 years of age and ensuring parity by including home and community based services and long-term care in the covered benefits for Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) and Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors (HBIS).
We thank the Governor and his Administration for enacting HBIA and HBIS- pioneering programs that extend health coverage to low-income Illinoisans who would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid but for immigration status. To date, over 41,000 Illinoisans who previously had no pathway to coverage have received healthcare services; and our state is stronger and healthier for it.
It is often said that a budget is a moral document. Healthy Illinois’ guiding principle is that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that we are all healthier when our neighbors are healthy. We hope that these are fundamental beliefs upon which we can agree with the Governor and members of our state legislature.
Not only is expanding health coverage the right thing to do, but it is also the fiscally responsible thing to do. Uninsured individuals frequently delay accessing care until they have reached the point of crisis. This means that common, treatable conditions that could have been prevented or managed may become acute, requiring more costly, avoidable interventions like inpatient care and emergency services. Enabling coverage options for all Illinois residents is better for patients and their families and a smarter use of limited state resources.
With leadership from our legislative sponsors, State Senator Omar Aquino and State Representative Lisa Hernandez, we look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the Governor, his Administration, and the General Assembly to ensure that all Illinoisans, regardless of immigration status or age have access to high-quality, comprehensive affordable care.
The Healthy Illinois Campaign is a statewide coalition comprised of a diverse cross-section of immigrant and health care advocates including community members, providers, organizers, and policy experts. We are united by a common goal of making quality, affordable healthcare coverage accessible to all people in Illinois, regardless of immigration status.