– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich continued his Investing in Families
tour today in Harvey where he visited ministers, business owners and local leaders during a forum sponsored by Bishop Willie Jordan, the South Suburban Concerned Pastors and the St. Mark Covenant Churches Pastors, which consists of over 200 pastors. The Governor explained his Fiscal Year 2008 budget, which includes the Illinois Covered
plan to provide affordable and comprehensive health insurance to all Illinoisans, the Helping Kids Learn
plan to invest an additional $10 billion in Illinois schools over the next four years, the Tax Fairness Plan
that requires big businesses to pay their fair share and gives the middle class the relief it deserves, and a plan to address the state’s long-time pension deficit and ensure secure retirements for thousands of workers.
Two weeks ago, the Governor toured all corners of the state to meet with citizens and small businesses to discuss how his Fiscal Year 2008 budget plan helps working families. During the tour, the Governor received the support of hundreds of business, community, civic, educational, and religious organizations from across the state.
“Access to affordable healthcare and high-quality education should not be a privilege for the very wealthy – these are basic human rights,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “In Illinois we have a unique opportunity to fundamentally reform the way state government meets its responsibilities so that the middle class and working families can get the healthcare and education they deserve. I appreciate Pastor Jordan’s support and the commitment of dozens of other ministers who are working with us to make sure that men, women and families in their communities have access to healthcare.”
“I support the Governor’s budget plan because we need serious help in Illinois – for everyone. There are thousands of hard working people who cannot afford basic healthcare because the costs associated with insurance are too expensive. There are people walking around sick, some are even dying, because they do not have access to quality health coverage. This is America, not a third world country. We are one of the richest countries in the world and cannot provide healthcare for all Americans – something is wrong with that picture. Governor Blagojevich is doing the right thing by taking steps to correct a system that is flawed. His plan is the best plan that a Governor in the state of Illinois has come out with,” said Bishop Willie Jordan, Pastor, St. Mark Baptist Church.
While the Blagojevich Administration has expanded access to healthcare to more than 560,000 children, seniors and working adults with programs like FamilyCare and All Kids, access to quality healthcare continues to be a concern for more than 1.4 million adults statewide who remain uninsured today. A majority, roughly 75 percent, are from families with moderate incomes or higher. The Governor’s “Illinois Covered” plan will provide affordable coverage to the uninsured and will also help many middle-income families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance plans save thousands a year on healthcare costs. The plan will also reform the existing healthcare system to improve quality and require more accountability.