Bill Text: IL HR0445 | 2017-2018 | 100th General Assembly | Enrolled

Bill Title: Urges opposition to the American Health Care Act.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 48-0)

Status: (Passed) 2017-07-14 - Added Co-Sponsor Rep. John C. D'Amico [HR0445 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2017-HR0445-Enrolled.html

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2 On May 5, 2017, the United States House of Representatives
3passed H.R. 1628, otherwise known as the American Health Care
4Act (AHCA); and
5 WHEREAS, In March of 2017, the Congressional Budget Office
6estimated that 24 million people would lose health insurance if
7the AHCA were passed and implemented; of those 24 million
8people, 14 million are currently covered by Medicaid, which the
9AHCA would also slash by about $880 billion over 10 years,
10putting some of the poorest and most vulnerable citizens at
11great risk; and
12 WHEREAS, As a result of passage of the AHCA, Illinois could
13face a loss of $40 billion in federal Medicaid funding over the
14next 10 years, affecting over one million Illinois residents
15who currently have coverage under the Affordable Care Act; and
16 WHEREAS, Currently, Illinois is ranked 50th in the nation
17for capturing federal Medicaid dollars putting the State in an
18extremely vulnerable position and unable to absorb more costs
19from the federal government; and
20 WHEREAS, The AHCA also allows states to waive community
21rating, which bans insurers from charging higher premiums to
22those with pre-existing conditions and would result in much

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1higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions; and
2 WHEREAS, As a result of waiving the ban on pre-existing
3conditions, the cost of insurance will increase for people with
4pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis,
5autistic disorder, seizures, asthma, kidney disease, and
6children with disabilities; and
7 WHEREAS, The AHCA also has a provision letting states waive
8essential health benefits such as outpatient care, emergency
9services, hospitalization, pregnancy, maternity, newborn care,
10mental health and substance use disorder services, and
11pediatric services; and
12 WHEREAS, Waiving of essential benefits puts mothers and
13children at severe risk of losing coverage as plans on the
14individual market can once again decide not to cover maternity
15care as a result of the AHCA; and
16 WHEREAS, The law would also adopt a policy known as a "per
17capita cap" for Medicaid that would replace the current funding
18mechanism and rather than matching state spending; the AHCA
19would give each state a set amount of money per person and
20place specific caps for differing populations such as the
21people with disabilities, the elderly, and other at-risk
22populations; and

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1 WHEREAS, As a result of placing a cap on spending, people
2with disabilities who rely on home and community based services
3through Medicaid, such as personal-attendant care, skilled
4nursing, and specialized therapies could lose access to the
5services they need in order to live independently and remain in
6their homes; and
7 WHEREAS, The AHCA also places the elderly at risk; as
8states continue to see rising populations as a result of the
9baby boom generation, implementing a per capita cap on spending
10may restrict states' abilities to keep up with the demand for
11services resulting in premature institutionalization, lack of
12services, and reduced quality of life for our seniors; and
13 WHEREAS, The AHCA poses a threat for persons with substance
14abuse disorders; the opioid crisis in Illinois has placed a
15heavier burden on the State's Medicaid program and has resulted
16in an immense need for increased services; a per capita cap
17will limit the State's ability to leverage additional monies in
18times of crises or epidemic, further hampering the State's
19ability to be responsive to the needs of its most vulnerable
20populations during the most critical times; and
21 WHEREAS, The law allows states to impose work requirements
22on those applying for Medicaid, which has not been proven to

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1increase employment among the poor and will meaningfully reduce
2access to care for low income families; and
3 WHEREAS, On June 22, 2017, the United States Senate
4introduced a proposed amendment for discussion to H.R. 1628,
5known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017; and
6 WHEREAS, While the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
7contains changes to the original AHCA, the new proposed
8amendment still contains significant cuts to both state
9Medicaid programs as well as state healthcare exchanges and
10continues to put some of the poorest and most vulnerable
11citizens at great risk; and
12 WHEREAS, The legislation results in over 22 million people
13losing their insurance coverage, and reduces spending on
14healthcare services by over $700 billion while also providing
15over $541 billion in tax breaks for extremely wealthy
16individuals and corporations; and
17 WHEREAS, The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
18continues to propose elimination of health insurance coverage
19for the Medicaid expansion population in Illinois, thus
20completely eliminating healthcare coverage for over 650,000
21Illinoisans who currently only have insurance as a result of
22the State's decision to expand Medicaid; and

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1 WHEREAS, The act also continues to pursue "per capita caps"
2for Medicaid severely placing billions of dollars in federal
3funding in jeopardy for Illinois which may result in
4elimination of services, reductions in services offered, rate
5cuts for providers, or limiting coverage of high cost
6enrollees; and
7 WHEREAS, The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 reduces
8the amount of subsidies to persons who purchase health
9insurance on the healthcare exchange, and reduces the amount of
10persons eligible to receive the subsidies for exchange plans
11that provide less health insurance plans and contain higher
12deductibles than current healthcare plans on the exchange; and
13 WHEREAS, The act continues its attack on healthcare for
14women by reducing access to family planning services and
15maternity care services, and allowing insurance companies to
16charge higher premiums for women; and
17 WHEREAS, The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 also
18places seniors at an even higher risk of losing nursing home
19care than the AHCA as a result of eliminations of presumptive
20eligibility for Medicaid recipients to obtain benefits and
21retroactive eligibility for Medicaid recipients to get paid for
22services they have already received; and

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1 WHEREAS, The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 also
2continues to allow states to waive essential health benefits as
3provided under the Affordable Care Act, continually placing
4many people at risk of losing the most basic healthcare
5benefits such as maternity care, mental health care, substance
6abuse and opioid treatment, and pharmacy benefits; and
7 WHEREAS, The true intention of both policies are revealed
8in the provisions that create financial incentives for states
9to increase Medicaid redeterminations in order to kick people
10off of the Medicaid program, and financial incentives for
11states to reduce the amount of healthcare services provided by
12Medicaid; and
13 WHEREAS, The Governor has yet to officially take a position
14on the American Health Care Act or the Better Care
15Reconciliation Act of 2017, despite the fact that both stand to
16negatively affect millions of Illinois residents and cause
17major financial harm to the State's budget and the broader
18system of healthcare across Illinois; and
19 WHEREAS, When the Governor has been asked to provide a
20position on the American Health Care Act or the Better Care
21Reconciliation Act of 2017, he has continually dodged the
22question, refused to provide a direct answer, or attempted to

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1circumvent any responsibility for these proposed policies; and
2 WHEREAS, As the Governor has the supreme executive power in
3the State under the Illinois Constitution, it is imperative
4that he directly provide guidance to our Congressional
5delegation and the people of Illinois regarding his position on
6the American Healthcare Act and the Better Care Reconciliation
7Act of 2017, both of which will have a disastrous effect on the
8poorest and neediest persons in the State and will devastate
9the critical social safety net they rely on; and
10 WHEREAS, Medicare is a federal health insurance program
11that currently pays for a variety of health care expenses for
12senior citizens aged 65 and older and people with certain other
13qualifying conditions only; and
14 WHEREAS, Medicare currently insures over 55 million
15Americans, and nearly everyone over age 65; in Illinois alone,
16over 2 million people receive Medicare benefits; and
17 WHEREAS, There have been recent legislative efforts at the
18federal level to expand Medicare for all persons in the United
19States, not just those currently eligible which would provide
20coverage for all medically necessary services, including
21doctors' visits, hospital care, prevention programs, long-term
22care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision,

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1prescription drug, and medical supply costs; and
2 WHEREAS, Children (unmarried and under age 22) can only
3receive Medicare if they are disabled or have a qualifying
4condition and make up less than 7% of the current population of
5people on Medicare; and
6 WHEREAS, Expanding the federal Medicare program to those
7who need care the most can be a positive step to strengthen our
8nation's commitment to improving the health and safety of all
9Americans and reduce the risk of cuts posed by the AHCA and the
10Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, to those that are most
11vulnerable; therefore be it
14strongly urge the federal government, the United States
15Congress, and the President of the United States, to oppose the
16American Health Care Act, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of
172017, or any other legislative efforts that would reduce access
18to healthcare for low-income and at-risk populations and to
19expand the federal Medicare program for people most in need
20especially children, women, and those with pre-existing
21conditions, that are put at extreme risk as a result of passage
22of either the American Health Care Act or the Better Care
23Reconciliation Act of 2017; and be it further

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1 RESOLVED, That we strongly urge the Governor of the state
2of Illinois to be responsive to the needs of Illinois residents
3and directly engage with the President of the United States,
4and Republican members of the Illinois Congressional
5delegation regarding the devastating consequences associated
6with both the American Health Care Act and the Better Care
7Reconciliation Act of 2017; and be it further
8 RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
9delivered to the Governor of the State of Illinois, the
10Illinois Congressional delegation, the United States Congress,
11and the President of the United States.