The release of Michael Moore’s new documentary, Sicko , has helped to reignite a national debate about health care coverage. California and Massachusetts are both working on implementing universal coverage plans. Here in Illinois, Governor Rod Blagojevich and legislative leaders are now in their eighth week of deadlock over the budget. Among the sticking points is Blagojevich’s new health care plan, a major component of his budget proposal. The plan, called “Illinois Covered,” is a massive initiative that claims to offer near-universal insurance coverage to uninsured and underinsured residents.
In the plan unveiled earlier this year in March, the Governor proposed financing it largely by a new tax on gross business receipts on businesses that make more than $2 million a year. Other revenue sources includetaxing businesses that do not offer insurance, eliminating additional corporate tax breaks and consolidating state funds.
The business community soon launched a campaign againstthe proposedplan and taxeswith some corporations threatening to move out of the state. House Speaker Michael Madigan and other legislative leaders argue that Blagojevich’s plan is financially unrealistic.
What are the pros and cons of Blagojevich’s plan? Will it actually provide better and more health care coverage to Illinoisans? Who should bear the cost? Will businesses tolerate shouldering the cost of “Illinois Covered”? Will higher taxes lead to a corporateexodus? Should taxpayers bear more of the burden directly? How long will residents tolerate this budget gridlock? Are we putting the high quality of health care in jeopardy? Will the decisions made about the Governor’s plan signal the direction of the Democratic Party in Illinois?
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.