OLYMPIA FIELDS – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich continued his Investing in Families tour today in Olympia Fields where he visited working families during a forum sponsored by the Illinois Healthcare Consortium at St. James Hospital. 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.
Last week, 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.
“Right now, we have a unique opportunity to fundamentally reform the way state government meets its responsibilities so that middle class and working families are at the center of what we do,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “St. James Hospital has been a strong partner in expanding access to healthcare to working families, and I applaud them for their commitment to Olympia Fields and other south suburban communities. Now is the time to build on those successes, and work together to make healthcare a reality for every uninsured family in the state.”
“We are pleased that the issue of healthcare reform is of top priority for our Governor. As a non-profit community hospital, St. James faces the challenge of providing care to the uninsured every day. Like other Illinois hospitals, we are committed to providing quality care to our patients now and in the future, but we cannot do it alone. The growing number of uninsured and underinsured raises the level of criticalness on this issue. The fact that our state and federal legislators are addressing the underlying problem—lack of coverage and access for the uninsured—is a positive step towards much needed reform. It’s clear that Gov. Blagojevich recognizes that hospitals, healthcare workers, unions, businesses, government need to work together to find a solution to provide for the growing number of uninsured patients in the state,” said Peter J. Murphy, President, St. James Hospital and Health Centers.
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.