I am committed to an America in which every citizen has access to the healthcare of equal, high quality. A healthy population is a key building block to making our children more successful in schools, and filling our workplaces with capable and diligent employees.
Yet, across the nation, one out of every six Americans does not have health insurance and nearly 14,000 Americans lose their coverage each day. Under any circumstances those numbers are unsettling, but in the current economic situation, that lack of basic health care coverage is unacceptable.
Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act
On March 23, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, legislation that I strongly support, was signed into law by the President. This unprecedented legislation took a crucial step toward curbing healthcare costs, making insurance accessible to more working American families, creating consumer protection in the market, and shifting healthcare focus to prevention and wellness rather than post-diagnostic care.
The new law includes a number of provisions that will directly benefit you:
* Patient Rights and Protections, like a consumer assistance program with an outlet for complaints and appeals, a Patient Bill of Rights, the ability to keep the same healthcare plan if you had one prior to the enactment of the law, and access to preventive services like screenings for cancer and flu shots
* Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans, for individuals who have previously been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition
* Young Adult Coverage rules that allow children to remain on their parents plans until the age of 26
* Insurances Exchanges that will allow individuals and small businesses to compare health plans, get answers to questions, and find out if they are eligible for tax credits for private insuranceor health programs like the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
These and many more improvements will occur between now and 2015. For a timeline of the changes and more information, I encourage you to visit healthcare.gov.
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The 2009 Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization renewed and expanded CHIP benefits, extending protection to an additional 4 million children who would otherwise be uninsured. CHIP is jointly financed by the Federal and State governments and is administered by the States; for more information on Illinois' program, visit AllKidsCovered.com.