Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) is warning that legislation touted as “Medicaid reform” by Democratic leaders will actually do more harm than good.
Syverson said that two measures passed recently – Senate Bill 3261 and House Bill 5007 – end up pushing healthcare costs onto hospitals and patients at a time they can least afford it. Senate Bill 3261 would extend free healthcare to those at 200 percent of the poverty level, meaning a family of four, making $46,000 annually, would receive free health coverage. Likewise, illegal immigrants would continue to receive coverage, and hospitals would be forced to provide additional free charity healthcare.
“This is a very flawed proposal in many ways,” Syverson said. “Our local hospitals already do a significant amount of charity care, but their guidelines are set by local hospital boards that determine what’s best for the community. This forced expansion of free care will eventually be cost-shifted onto middle class patients and consumers who are insured.”
The Rockford Senator also took issue with House Bill 5007, which adds 200,000 Cook County residents to the Medicaid rolls. Even though the bill’s sponsors claim Cook County would exclusively pay for the expansion, Syverson warned the measure amounts to“early Obamacare” that could end up costing suburban and Downstate residents as well. “At a time when we should be doing more to rein in Medicaid costs, this bill does exactly the opposite,” Syverson said. “As we’ve seen before, whenever Chicago faces major costs,the rest of us end up picking up the tab.”