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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich’s plan to provide comprehensive health coverage for every child in Illinois earns key endorsements
More than 200 organizations support All Kids – the Governor’s plan to make Illinois the only state in the country to offer comprehensive health coverage to every child

CHICAGO – More than 200 organizations signed letters that were presented to Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today in support of his landmark All Kids proposal that would make Illinois the only state in the nation to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every child in the state.  Last week, the Governor announced his plan to ensure that every child in Illinois has access to affordable health insurance.  The groups joining the Governor today represent hospitals, doctors, nurses, educators, labor, child advocates and clergy. 
 
In Illinois, 253,000 children are without health insurance.  More than half of Illinois’ uninsured children come from working and middle class families who earn too much to qualify for programs like KidCare, but not enough to afford private health insurance.  The Governor’s program would make comprehensive health insurance available to children, with parents paying monthly premiums and co-payments for doctor’s visits and prescription drugs at affordable rates. 
 
“There is nothing more important to parents than making sure their kids are safe and healthy.  Yet hundreds of thousands of children in Illinois don’t have health insurance. But, we can change this if we pass our All Kids plan.  I would like to thank everyone here supporting us today. Together, we can make sure children have access to comprehensive and affordable health care through our All Kids program,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
 
Senate President Emil Jones and House Speaker Michael J. Madigan are the lead sponsors of legislation creating the All Kids health insurance program and have vowed to push for its passage during the upcoming fall veto session so the program can be up and running by July 1, 2006. The organizations vowed to help the Governor build support to pass his All Kids plan and to help enroll children in the plan, should it pass.
 
“Governor Blagojevich is taking a bold step forward by making Illinois the first state in the nation to propose comprehensive health care coverage to every child,” the letter from the organizations reads.  “We agree with Senate President Emil Jones, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Governor Blagojevich that parents shouldn’t have to face a difficult economic decision when their child is hurt or sick, every child should have access to affordable health insurance and be able to see a doctor when they are sick or injured.  As others have said, and we agree, health care should be a right for all children, not just a benefit for the privileged few.” 
 
Over the past two and a half years, the Blagojevich Administration has worked to expand health coverage for low-income, working parents and their children.  Since January of 2003, 170,000 more children in Illinois received health insurance, and Illinois is now ranked as the second best state in the nation by the Kaiser Family Foundation for providing health care to children who need it (Illinois is also now the top ranked state in the nation for providing health care to adults who need it).
 
Despite these gains, there are still uninsured children in every corner of the state.  Based on adjusted 2003 Census data, approximately 253,000 children in Illinois do not have health insurance. Twelve percent of children in Cook County, the state’s most populated county, are uninsured.  In Pulaski County at the southern tip of Illinois, nearly 15% of children lack health coverage.  In St. Clair County, 9.3% of children do not have health insurance.  In Sangamon County, home to Illinois’ capitol, 8.6% of kids are not insured.  Even in suburban DuPage County, one of the twenty-five wealthiest counties in the United States, 7.2% of children have no health insurance.  
 
The Governor’s All Kids program would offer children access to comprehensive health care, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, vision care, dental care and medical devices like eye glasses and asthma inhalers.
 
Research shows that uninsured children suffer because they do not have access to adequate medical care.  For example:
 
·                    The Kaiser Family Foundation found that uninsured children are 70% less likely than children with insurance to receive medical care for conditions like ear infections, and 30% less likely to receive medical attention when they are injured. 
 
·                    A National Health Interview Survey found that 59% of uninsured children did not see a doctor for a check-up in the past year and 38% of children have no regular place to go for medical care.  These factors put uninsured children at higher risk for hospitalization or missed diagnoses of serious conditions.
 
Participants in the new program will pay monthly premiums and co-payments for doctors visits and prescriptions, but unlike private insurance that is too expensive for so many families, the rates for All Kids coverage will be based on a family’s income.  The state is able to offer All Kids insurance coverage at much lower than market rates for middle-income families by leveraging the significant negotiating and buying power it already has through Medicaid. 
 
For example, a family with two children that earns between $40,000 and $59,999 a year will pay a $40 monthly premium per child, and a $10 co-pay per physician visit. A family with two children earning between $60,000 and $79,999 will pay a $70 monthly premium per child, and a $15 co-pay per physician visit.  However, there will be no co-pays for preventative care visits, such as annual immunizations and regular check ups and screenings for vision, hearing, appropriate development or preventative dental.  These premiums for middle-income families are significantly more affordable than typical private insurance premiums of $100 to $200 a month, or $2,400 per child annually.
 
The state will cover the difference between what parents contribute in monthly premiums and the actual cost of providing health care for each child, expected to be $45 million in the first year, with savings generated by implementing a primary care case management model (PCCM) for participants in the state’s FamilyCare and All Kids health care programs.  Participants will choose a single primary physician who will manage their care by ensuring they get immunizations and other preventative health care services and avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.  Patients with chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes will have a single care manager to make sure they are getting the treatments and ongoing care they need to avoid acute care.  Primary care physicians will make referrals to specialists for additional care or tests as needed. 
 
By ensuring patients get adequate preventative care on the front end, fewer people will need expensive specialized care or emergency care for critical conditions.  In children, preventative care is especially important.  For example, infants with stomach flu (gastroenteritis) who receive appropriate primary care can avoid being hospitalized for dehydration.  Providing a timely exam and appropriate antibiotic treatment for children with ear infections (otitis media) can prevent chronic ear problems, loss of hearing and the need for surgically placed tubes to relieve fluid build up.  Treating children with bronchitis or minor lung infections in a primary care setting can help to avoid more expensive hospitalization treatment of pneumonia, including intravenous antibiotics and respiratory treatments.  And early identification and appropriate treatment of children who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, will result in fewer expensive emergency room and inpatient care visits.     
 
Twenty-nine other states, including North Carolina, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Louisiana, have realized significant savings by using this model for their Medicaid programs.  Based on independent analyses, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services estimates the state will save more than $56 million in the first year by implementing the PCCM model in all state health programs but those that serve seniors and the blind.
 
Evidence shows that in addition to lacking adequate medical care, children without health insurance are at a disadvantage in the classroom.  For example:
 
·                    According to a Florida Healthy Kids Annual Report in 1997, children who do not have health coverage are 25% more likely to miss school. 
 
·                    A California Health Status Assessment Project on children’s health published in 2002 found that children who recently enrolled in health care saw their attendance and performance improve by 68%. 
 
·                    And a 2002 study in Vermont entitled Building Bridges to Healthy Kids and Better Students conducted by the Council of Chief State School Officers showed that children who started out without health insurance saw their reading scores more than double after getting health care.
 
Research also provides strong economic reasons for insuring all children.  Delayed treatment can result in more complex, more threatening and more expensive care later.  While the uninsured pay approximately 35% of their medical bills out of pocket, more than 40% ends up being absorbed by those who do have health insurance in the form of higher premiums.  According to a recent Families USA report, the cost of paying for the uninsured will add $1059 to the average family’s insurance premiums here in Illinois in 2005. 
 
In addition, investing in health care can have a positive impact on local economies.  Over the past five years, the health care industry has created nearly 40,000 new jobs in Illinois.  Health care is the second-fastest growing industry in the state, and one of the fastest in the nation. 
 
More information about All Kids is available online at www.allkidscovered.com.
 
Organizations joining the effort to pass the Governor’s All Kids plan during the fall veto session include: 
 
100 Black Men of Alton
18th Street Development Corporation
ABJ Community Services
Access Health Network
ACORN
Action for Children
Ada S. McKinley Community Services
Administration for Regional Office of Education #12
Adoption Information Center
Adoption Unlimited, Inc.
Advocate Health Systems
Albany Bank & Trust
Albany Park Chamber of Commerce
Albany Park Community Action Group
Albany Park Community Center
Alivio Medical Center
Alpha Temple Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend Leonard Deville
Alternative School Network
Alton NAACP
AME Ministerial Alliance - Reverend David  Coleman
Archview Corporation
Arlington Glass Company
ASPIRA
Aurora Township
Baxter International
Bishop Larry Trotter-Presiding Prelate of the United  Pentecostal  Church of Christ
Bishop ML Crawford, Dr. Keith Denmark - Church of The Living God
Brandenburg
Bureau County United Way
Business and Professional People for the Public Interest
Campaign for Better Healthcare
Carol Jo Roberston Center
Carroll-Keller Group
Casa Aztlan
Casa Central
Cathedral of Joy Church - Reverend Samuel Hinkle
Catholic Charities
Centennial Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend JD Anderson
Central Illinois Manufacturing Co.
Centro Sin Fronteras
CEO of Illinois Eastern Community College
Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC)
Chicago and NE Illinois District Council of Carpenters
Chicago Area Projects
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Chicago Federation of Labor
Chicago Firefighters Local 2
Chicago Foundation for Women
Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce
Chicago Teachers Union
Child Welfare League of America
Children's Memorial Hospital
ChildServ
Christ Tabernacle Church - Reverend Henry Barlow
Christian Activity Center
Citizen Action Illinois
City of Flora, Economic Development
City of Mt. Vernon
Community & Economic Development Assoc. of Cook County (CEDA)
Cook County Economic Development Ctr
Cook County Physicians Association
Council of 100 Name changed to Rockford Area Economic Dev Council
Crative Solutions Technologies
Crawford County Democrat Central Committee
CWLA/ Miller Anderson
D.R. Home Furnishing
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission
Edgewater Development Corporation
Edwardsville Township
El Hogar del Nino
El Rincon
El Valor
Equality of Illinois
Erie Neighborhood House
Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church - Bishop Vesta Dixon
Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend O.C. Morgan
Excel Metal Products
Executive Director of Infant Welfare Society
Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend Charles Jenkins
Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend Tony Land
Fernwood United Methodist Church - Reverend Al Sampson
Fibergel Technologies
First American Bank
First Baptist Congregational Church - Reverend Jannette Wilson
First Corinthians Baptist Church - Reverend James Thomas
First Unity Baptist Church - Reverend J.C. Boyd
Fox Valley United Way
Freedom Temple Church of God in Christ - Bishop Cody Marshall
Gad Hill - Chicago
GAM Corporation
Generational Blessings - Pastor Olivia Johnson
Global Staffing Services
God First Ministries - Dr. Mildred Harris
Greater Madison County Federation of Labor
Greater Rock MBC - Reverend Floyd James
Green Oaks/ Libertyville/ Mundelein/ Vernon Hills Area Chamber of Commerce
Growth Association of Southwest Illinois
Haskris Co.
Hayes Properties, Inc.
Health and Disability Advocates
Healthcare Alternative Systems
Heart of Illinois United Way Peoria
Heartland Alliance
Heritage International Christian Church - Reverend Dwight Gunn
Hermon Baptist Church - Reverend Alvin Wesley
Hispanic American Construction Industry Association
Holy Cross Church
Hope Presbyterian Church - Reverend Leslie Sanders
IL Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Illinois AFL-CIO
Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees
Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators
Illinois Association of School Nurses
Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers State Conference
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Illinois Defense Industry Association
Illinois Federation of Teachers
Illinois Maternal Child Health Coalition
Illinois Migrant Council
Illinois Nurses Association
Illinois Physical Therapy Association
Illinois Pipe Trades
Illinois Public Health Association
Illinois Regional Development Alliance
Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing
Imperial Trailer
Industrical Council of Nearwest Chicago
Infant Welfare Society
Inner City Youth and Adult Foundation
Institute for Latino Progress
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 21
International Business Center in Rolling Meadows
Jane Addams Bookstore
Jane Addams Hull House
Johnson County 2000
Kankakee River Valley Chamber of Commerce
Kankakee/Will/Grundy Building Trades Association
Kishwaukee United Way - DeKalb/Sycamore
La Rabida Children's Hospital
Laborers District Council, Chicago
Laborers Internation Union - Midwest Region
Lake County Chamber of Commerce
Lake Kinzie Industrial Leadership Council
Madison County Urban League
Manager Office Building in Crawford Co.
McNeal Clinic
Mercy Hospital Medical Center
Messiah-St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church - Father Darryl  James
Mid America Workforce Investment Board
Mount Calvary Baptist Church - Reverend Tyrone Crider
Mount Vernon Baptist Church - Reverend  Johnny Miller
Mujeres Latina en Accion
National Able Network
National Marrow Donor Program
National Womens Veterans United
New Abundant Life Church - Bishop Monroe Mullins
New Hope Community Baptist Church - Reverend Wyatt Rush
New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend Marshall Hatch
New Vision of Faith Fellowship
NextGen Advisors
Nigerian American Assoc of Public Administrators
North River Commission
Northbrook Chamber of Commerce
Northwest and Schaumburg Assn. Of Chamber & Industry
Ounce of Prevention Fund
Painters District Council #30
People's Church of The Harvest Church of God in Christ - Elder Michael Eaddy
Perry Commerical Realty
Pirok Financial Group, Limited
Plano Economic Development Corporation
Plumbers Statewide Council
Praise Tabernacle Deliverance Baptist Church - Bishop Steve Jones
Protestants for the Common Good
Proviso Baptist Church - Bishop Claude Porter
Quality Control Corporation
Quasar Strategies
Quickset International, Inc.
Regional Supt. Of Schools #12
Rend Lake Small Business Development Center
Residing Bishop Simon Gordon, Pastor of Full Gospel Baptist Churches of Illinois
Restoration Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend Michael Bond
Retired School teachers
Reverend Alvin Love-President of the General State Convention of Illinois
Reverend Charles Rogers - Evening Star
Reverend Clarence Moore - Believers Christian Center
Reverend George Henderson- President of the Westside Baptist Ministers Conference
Reverend Herman Larry - New Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church
Reverend John Gray-President of the Baptist Pastors Conference of Chicago and Vicinity
Reverend Joseph Ragland - Park Manor Church of God
Reverend Stephen Thurston-President of The National Baptist Convention of America
Reverend Walter Turner-President of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Chicago and Vicinity                        
Rock Island County Board
Rockford Area Economic Development Council
S & B Manufacturing
Safer Foundation
Salem Tabernacle Church - Reverend Emmanuel Little
SANKOFA, Inc.
Saunders Marketing
SEIU State Council
Sergeant Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Sinai Health Systems
South Suburban Mayors and Managers
Southwest Illinois Development Authority
Southwest Youth Collaborative
Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council
St. Anthony’s Hospital
St. Bernard's Hospital
St. James Hospital
St. John Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend A. Edward Davis
St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association
St. Mark Baptist Church - Bishop William Jordan
St. Sabina - Chicago
St. Stephen AME Church - Reverend Albert Tyson
Stateline United Way
Supportive Housing Providers Association
The Illinois Maternal Child Health Coalition
The Resurrection Project
Tri-City Building Trades
Tuckpointers, Local 52
Twin Rivers CTE System
UAW, Region 4
UNITE HERE Local 1
United Food and Commerical Workers Local 881
United Mine Workers of America
United Neighborhood Organization
United Power for Action and Justice
United Scrap
United Steel Workers, District 7
United Way of Adams County
United Way of Central Illinois
United Way of Decatur and Mid Illinois
United Way of Elgin
United Way of Illinois Valley
United Way of Kankakee County
United Way of McDonough County
United Way of Whiteside County
University of St Francis
Vanee Foods
Victory Christian Assembly - Apostle Carl White
Village of Maywood
VOA Architects
Voices for Illinois Children
Warren County United Way
Waymen AME Church - Reverend Walter Johnson
WMS Gaming
Women Employed
Women Presidents' Organization
Women's Business Development Center
Word Made Worship Center - Reverend William Jenkins
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Yorkville Chamber of Commerce
Youth Charter Schools Connections


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