Pritzker made a reasonable compromise on health care for undocumented immigrants


Advocates of essential government services generally say those services need more money, often rightly so. Education, inadequate pensions, public safety—the list is endless.

But the legislature and the governor have to balance the numbers when making a budget. In the fiscal year that began Saturday, he offered a reasonable deal on health care funding for undocumented immigrants in the state, though advocates protested that it was nowhere near enough.

A $550 million increase is included in the budget to pay for those health care costs. Is it enough to cover everyone? No, because the cost of the program is increasing three years after its creation. State officials estimate the cost of the program could top $1.1 billion if nothing changes.

Health advocates say that’s not the case. of Healthy Illinois Campaign He called the deal “unethical and fiscally short-sighted.” U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Ill.; It is called the new limit “A false election built on fear-mongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric.” Activists have held protests, including one outside the Illinois state offices in the West Loop on Thursday.

But look around the country, and you’d be hard-pressed to find many other states that provide as much health care as Illinois does. Some other states that began providing some health care to undocumented immigrants are now scaling back or debating whether to do so.

It was Illinois First state to provide health care coverage For non-citizens. And this year, the Legislature and Gov. JB Pritzker spent more money on health care coverage, even though many other priorities could use a lot more money.

Under the deal, the state will stop enrolling immigrant adults ages 42 to 64, and those without permanent legal status, into the Medicaid-like health benefits program for immigrant adults, at least temporarily.

Existing enrollees in the Medicare-like health benefits program for the elderly immigrant can keep coverage, and more seniors can apply, though there is a cap of 16,500 enrollees. All enrollees must pay a co-pay for hospital visits ranging from $100 to $250. Children up to the age of 18 are covered under the All Children program.

Unlike traditional Medicaid, which is heavily subsidized by the federal government, Illinois must pay almost all of the health benefits for immigrant adults. Congress, which is focused on increasing work requirements for Medicaid, won’t be helping much anytime soon.

Having adequate health insurance is a challenge for many Americans. Some people may not be able to afford health care if they have a serious illness because their insurance plans have high out-of-pocket costs, premiums, and deductibles.

Research On December 27, 2022, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that even Americans with work-based health insurance are skipping out on medical care because they can’t afford it. Some Illinois residents with Medicaid will lose coverage because emergency outbreak protections are ending. Last year, the Kaiser Family Foundation About half of American adults are found He had trouble paying health care costs.

Ideally, should everyone have access to affordable health care coverage? Of course, every eligible student in the state should be able to get a college education debt-free.

But if the federal government doesn’t provide better health care coverage or subsidize coverage for noncitizens, the gap could be too big for Illinois to close alone.

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