Affordable Care Act Provision Clears General Assembly

Illinois is on the way to implementing a major component of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

Up to 500-thousand additional uninsured Illinois residents would get coverage through Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor.

Illinois will receive a full repayment of its costs initially, with the federal reimbursement dropping to 90 percent after a few years.

But Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, said expecting that money to come through is a bet Illinois should not take.

MURPHY: “Don’t make this promise you’re going to have to renege on later. It’s too big, it’s too unaffordable.”

But Senator Heather Steans, D-Chicago, points to this time last year, when lawmakers had to cut money from Medicaid.

STEANS: “Today is a much happier day because we actually get to expand the pool of folks that are going to get into health care coverage.”

The Senate approved the measure on a 39-20 vote. It now heads to Governor Pat Quinn, who said he, “…looks forward to signing this legislation.”

—Chris Slaby

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