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Illinois Health Care Reform 9-1-1 Kickoff

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July 8, 2008

Springfield, IL - All the waiting is just making the problem worse. That's the assessment of more than 100 medical professional organizations, businesses, and interested groups kicking off a campaign today in Illinois and other states, as they push for immediate action on health care reform.

They're proposing a national insurance system as an alternative for people who are uninsured, under-insured, or dissatisfied with private insurance. William McNary with Citizen Action Illinois says the blueprint is based on simplicity and fairness.

"You'll get a guaranteed, standard, comprehensive set of benefits that will meet your needs, and you'll pay insurance premiums based upon what you earn."

McNary explains Illinois residents who are uninsured, under-insured, have pre-existing conditions, or are unhappy with their current coverage could buy the national plan.

He says there are big hopes that a national option could cure almost all the country's health care woes.

"Quality goes up, the cost goes down, and we get rid of the enormous inequities in the health care system for people of color. And health insurance is affordable to small businesses, as well."

Critics argue such a plan would create unfair competition and encourage businesses to drop employer-based plans.

More information is available online at www.healthcareforamericanow.org. More information on the Citizen Action Illinois is available online at www.citizenaction-il.org.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IL