Health Care is a Universal Human Right

I firmly believe health care is a universal human right and in the absence of federal legislation to enact those policies, states have the opportunity and obligation to develop workable plans that ensues access for their residents. While continuing to advocate for action at the national level, I would work hard to ensure Illinois continues to offer coverage under Medicaid, does not adopt work requirements, and expands Medicaid to include a public option that state residents can buy into.

My priorities to strengthen the ACA include:

  • Maintaining the expansion of Medicaid to all residents with income under 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • With a Democratic governor, developing the capacity for Illinois to operate its own marketplace, giving the state the full authority to attract insurers and monitor their premiums.
  • Absent a state-run marketplace, ensuring the viability of a competitive marketplace throughout the state so people have health insurance options.
  • Providing the Department of Insurance with greater authority to review and refuse to authorize health insurance premiums that are deemed excessive in comparison with anticipated costs.
  • Engaging in aggressive efforts to encourage and assist Illinois residents to enroll in ACA, to offset a shorter enrollment period and other Republican-led, efforts to discourage enrollment.
  • Develop a plan to extend coverage to undocumented residents who cannot receive any federal subsidies, similar to efforts underway in California.
  • Establish a state mandate for individuals to enroll in ACA or have health insurance through his/her employer.
  • Engage state agencies, such as Department of Public Health and Healthcare and Family Service, along with health care providers, consumer and insurer stakeholders, to improve quality and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery in Illinois.
  • Engage those same stakeholders to address the social determinants of health that disproportionately affect minority other low-income populations.