From WILL - News Headlines -

Le Roy Doctor Running for Ill. Senate’s 51st District

A physician from McLean County says his career away from politics should serve as an advantage as he pursues a seat in the Illinois Senate.

Republican Tom Pliura of Le Roy is running in the re-drawn 51st district, consisting of mostly rural towns in ten east central Illinois counties. He will face current state representative Chapin Rose in the primary.

Pluira said having real world experience as both an emergency room doctor and a lawyer will help hold elected officials accountable. He said his campaign won't be about personal attacks, but it will upset the status quo.

"I am going to challenge some long-standing, long held, positions by both sides, and inevitably, that will probably invoke a defensive posture on both sides of the aisle," Pluira said. "I'm not afraid to do that."

A doctor for 25 years, Pliura says he's seen many patients lately carrying cards for both Blue Cross-Blue Shield as well as Medicaid, but only the latter is billed. He says that's putting an unfair burden on the Medicaid rolls.

"There's no ability for the state to check that," said Pliura. "To see if that individual who now qualifies for Medicaid because the state has loosened up and basically tripled the rolls. The state's now paying a bill when in fact Blue Cross Blue Shield got the premium for that insurance policy. We're going to stop that."

Pluira said Illinois needs to rein in spending rather than raise taxes to solve the budget crisis. The emergency room physician also says he'll push to make the state friendlier to small businesses, as well as for term limits in the legislature. Pliura has never run for public office, but if elected, he said he will serve no more than two terms.