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What health reform means for the people of Illinois

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Friday, March 11, 2011

STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT! March 23, 2011 Rally to Celebrate the One Year Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the time has now arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and to help them get that protection.
These were the words of President Harry Truman when he sent a message to Congress on the need for national health care.  He delivered his message on November 19, 1945.  It took sixty-five years for President Truman’s words to ring true with President Barack Obama’s historic signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, 2010.

On the evening of March 23, 2011 at the Chicago Temple,  77 Washington, from 6:00-7:30 PM we will join together for a rally in celebration of  the one year anniversary of the ACA.  Hundreds of healthcare activists and leaders such as Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Governor Pat Quinn, State Representatives Greg Harris and Lou Lang, Keith Kelleher of SEIU Illinois/Indiana Healthcare, William McNary of Citizen Action/Illlinois, will come together to commit to the important work ahead of us.

We must fight to make Illinois a leader in creating a strong, transparent Health Benefits Exchange that will maximize the ability of individuals and small businesses to access the best insurance at the most competitive price.  We must fight to support strong consumer protections against excessive premium increases for health insurance in Illinois.

And we will celebrate the success of the ACA and its impact on Illinois.  One year after the signing of the law millions of Illinoisans are already reaping the benefits:

  • 1.8 million seniors will receive free wellness visits
  • 109,000 seniors already received prescription drug rebates
  • 47,000 young adults under 26 can stay on their parents’ insurance
  • 612,000 Illinoisans no longer have to fear losing their insurance
  • 3,000 Illinoisans with pre-existing conditions have access to insurance with the Illinois Pre-Existing Condition Plan (IPXP) 
While we celebrate our victories we know that our fight is far from over.  We are already witnessing the entrenched power of the insurance industry’s impact on pro-consumer legislation that is making its way through Springfield.  The forces that want to fight for the status quo are attempting to stop our progress.  This consummate struggle has raged in our country for a century. 

On March 23, 2010, President Obama dedicated the signing of the bill to his mother, who was forced to argue with insurance companies while she was dying of cancer.  It would heed us well at this critical time in the implementation of the law to remember President Obama’s words at its signing: 
We are not a nation that scales back its aspiration. We don’t fall prey to fear...we are not a nation that does things that are easy. We are a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right.
Stand up for what is right!   Join us to rally for healthcare on March 23, 2011.

Lynda DeLaforgue
Citizen Action/Illinois

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