In a press conference earlier this month, Republican lawmakers proposed a resolution that urges Congress to delay the “individual mandate” and calls on the Illinois Department of Insurance to fully disclose the number of people in Illinois who are facing health insurance cancellations as a result of ObamaCare. Both calls to action are commendable and reasonable.
But in an effort to “do something” about the ObamaCare crises, Assistant Republican Leader Rep. JoAnn Osmond took a good idea and ran with it – in the wrong direction.
She advocates taking another look at establishing a state-based ObamaCare health insurance exchange for Illinois. The reasons for not establishing a state exchange are numerous and well-documented.
Not only is a state-exchange not required under the law, but the cost to Illinois taxpayers could easily reach $100 million. What’s more, why would the same lawmakers who acknowledge the disastrous implementation we are witnessing want to further entangle the state in this ill-fated scheme?
Any lawmaker who advocates further expanding ObamaCare’s reach in Illinois should agree to live under ObamaCare as well. They should forgo their generous, taxpayer-funded health insurance benefits and voluntarily enter the ObamaCare exchange.
For 2014, lawmakers who are enrolled in the Illinois State Employees’ Group Insurance Program will pay between $119 and $144 per month for their own coverage, depending on the coverage option they choose if they receive no other outside income. The highest possible rate under any plan is $211. Under the Illinois exchange, the absolute lowest-cost premium for a 50-year-old individual, for example, in the state starts at $193.79, and the rates, depending on coverage level, can exceed $650 per month.
There is no doubt that Illinoisans need health care access and affordability. But the solution isn’t to further expand this costly and destructive scheme in Illinois.
As a result of ObamaCare, Illinoisans across the state are losing their current health insurance coverage, seeing their work hours reduced and are paying higher insurance premiums. Illinois needs less – not more – ObamaCare.
And the lawmakers who want more ObamaCare should be at the front of the line and immediately enroll.