With a new Illinois state law now offering low-cost medical coverage for most uninsured children in Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich flew to Washington on Monday to urge lawmakers to provide broader health insurance coverage for children around the nation.
Fellow Democratic governors were briefed at a meeting in Washington on the Illinois program. Afterwards, Blagojevich spoke at a news conference organized to build nationwide support for better insurance coverage for children. He is scheduled to be on hand at the Capitol when proposed legislation to grant subsidies to states that create similar children’s insurance programs is announced.
“Every single child ought to have health care,” Blagojevich said at a news conference organized by Families USA, a liberal health-care advocacy group, according to a Chicago Tribune account. “If a child needs to go to the doctor, that child ought to be able to go to the doctor.”
The Illinois’ state-subsidized “All Kids” health plan offers comprehensive medical insurance to all children in the state who have gone without insurance for at least 12 months. The statute goes into effect July, 2005.
The existing state health insurance program and federal subsidies are targeted to help low income families. Premiums and co-payments will be based on the family’s income.
The Illinois governor pointed out that many middle class working families share the burden of trying to meet the steep cost of medical insurance for their kids. A recent study by The Employee Benefits Research Institute found that more than 60 percent of children without insurance have at least one parent who works full-time year-round.
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