The dispute in Washington, D.C. over health-care reform is stirring debate everywhere. Opinions on what aspects of reform matter to many puts us at risk of losing sight of what matters to all — quality, affordable health care. Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, Illinois lawmakers should ensure that Illinoisans see lower costs, better quality and more stability in their health coverage.
They can start by creating a health insurance exchange program that allows individuals and small businesses to pool their buying power and negotiate for better prices for health-care coverage. Smart economic decisions are based on ample choice and price comparison. The more health-care options, the better the cost and access to primary care. An exchange program would provide consumers the opportunity to be in control of their own health coverage.
More than 8,000 of our patients are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. An insurance exchange program could secure affordable coverage for their primary health-care needs and keep them from seeking routine care in a hospital emergency room. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, we know the importance of primary care for not only promoting better health, but preventing diseases. Illinois should do what is best for its residents, not for big insurance companies.
Warren J. Brodine, CEO,
Originally published in the Chicago Sun Times on April 4, 2012