Thursday, October 6, 2005
Governor Unveils All Kids Program
Although hes been under fire from a number of different sources, Gov. Blagojevich unveiled a program with an attractiveness that will likely be easy selling to the 2006 electorate. Basically, hes saying that all kids, regardless of income or health status, should have the opportunity to get health care. Today, he proposed a program that gives parents who dont qualify for Kidcare but who cant afford private insurance, what he calls an inexpensive alternative to get health care coverage for their children. Hes going to pay for it by moving all of his other health care coverage with the exception of senior and blind recipients into a managed care system to be run by the Department of Health Care and Family Services. He calls it All Kids and states further that the program, if passed in the veto session, would make Illinois the first state in the nation to make comprehensive health insurance available to the parents of kids without health insurance at rates they could afford.
His program would allow all families to buy health insurance for their kids through this new program. Families making in the $40,000 to $60,000 range would still pay monthly premiums and co-payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs but since the state could provide health insurance for a child at far lower costs than private insurance, the state rate makes it affordable where the private rate may not be. Hes justifying it on an economic basis too by saying that kids without health insurance end up costing the state in many ways, i.e. instead of going to a doctor to treat flu-like symptoms, the child without insurance tends to end up in the emergency room (hospitals have to take such cases). Blagojevich points out the cost of treating the uninsured is a major cause of high private insurance premiums and treating kids on the front end with preventative care saves a lot of money on the back end with emergency care.