To our dismay, yesterday Gov. Rauner vetoed the Limited Duration Insurance Act (HB 2624) and the "Do No Harm" Health Care Act (HB 4165). These two bills were designed to protect Illinoisans against insufficient coverage and diminishing access to care. Deciding to veto these bills shows that the Rauner administration does not care about universal care and public input.
HB 2624 was meant to protect Illinois consumers from the federal rule that reverted back to the past on protections for consumers with pre-existing conditions. The bill would have required simple language on marketing and promotional materials, and given the Department of Insurance (DOI) the flexibility to protect consumers against these plans. Rep. Laura Fine, a sponsor of the bill, exclaimed her disappointment in the Governor's veto:
"I am deeply disappointed with Governor Rauner’s veto of H.B 2624. I remain very concerned about Illinoisans with pre-existing conditions who will end up in a short-term, limited duration health insurance plan and be left exposed to lack of care and exuberant out of pocket medical costs in 2019 and beyond."
HB 4165 would have made sure that the General Assembly had input in a public process should any Illinois Governor use a federal invitation to reduce healthcare access and treatment. This bill could have protected access to health care from harmful policies like the Medicaid "work requirements." The "Do No Harm" Act would have provided checks and balances for the General Assembly to review attempts to weaken or reduce Illinois health care. HB 4165 sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris said,
"Gov. Rauner’s veto of HB 4165 undermines sound policy and risks access to high quality comprehensive health care for all Illinoisans... We are seeing our heath care being treated like pawns in a game, moved not for the people who need healthcare, but by the insurance companies who profit from it."
Legal Council and Protect Our Care Illinois led grassroots efforts to help get these two bills passed. Unfortunately, it was not enough to challenge Gov. Rauner's disinterest in protecting the care and livelihoods of Illinoisans.
For updates on other advocacy initiatives and to learn how you can help protect care and services in Illinois, check back in on our blog and follow us on Twitter @thelegalcouncil.