News Local/State

Affordable Care Act Provision Clears General Assembly


Illinois is on the way to implementing a major component of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

Up to 500,000 additional uninsured Illinois residents would get coverage through Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor. Illinois will receive a full repayment of its costs initially, with the federal reimbursement dropping to 90 percent after a few years.

But Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) said expecting that money to come through is a bet Illinois should not take.

“Don’t make this promise you’re going to have to renege on later. It’s too big, it’s too unaffordable,” Murphy said.

But Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) pointed to this time last year – when lawmakers had to cut money from Medicaid.

“Today is a much happier day because we actually get to expand the pool of folks that are going to get into health care coverage,” Steans said.

The Senate approved the measure on a 39-20 vote. It now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn, who said he “looks forward to signing this legislation.”