Last September, the Illinois legislature approved what we described at the time as "one of the most progressive health care policies in the nation on behalf of the uninsured." The law in question aims to put end to the abusive mark-ups regularly applied to medical ...
Last September, the Illinois legislature approved what we described at the time as "one of the most progressive health care policies in the nation on behalf of the uninsured." The law in question aims to put end to the abusive mark-ups regularly applied to medical care received by those without insurance, capping such increases at 35 percent over cost. The measure also limits the amount an uninsured patient can be required to pay a hospital in a single year at 25 percent of their gross annual income.
After a rough rode to passage last year (the legislature had to override an amendatory veto from then-Gov. Blagojevich), the law will go into effect tomorrow.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose office will enforce the new restrictions, said the following in a statement released yesterday:
“This law reflects one of the most aggressive efforts by any state in the country to address health care accessibility and affordability for the uninsured, and given today’s economic conditions, it could not come at a better time,” Madigan said. “As unemployment rates climb and a record number of Illinois families struggle financially, this new law limits the financial strain caused by an unexpected illness or a medical emergency so that necessary hospital services are no longer out of reach for uninsured patients.”
Credit goes to State Rep. Karen May and Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (who sponsored the bill in the General Assembly), AFSCME (who spearheaded the idea), and the measure's various other supporters, including the Service Employees International Union (whose state council sponsors this website), the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Citizen Action, and Health & Disability Advocates.
Image used under a Creative Commons license by Flickr user amanky.