Governor Quinn and legislators will join community leaders from across the area at a rally to push the state legislature to create a health insurance exchange to prepare for health reform’s rollout.
The rally takes place Sunday, October 16 at 3 p.m. at Temple Sholom, 3480 N. Lake Shore Drive.
Unless the legislature acts this year to set up an exchange, the state could lose more than $90 million in federal early startup grants under the Affordable Care Act, said Tom Lenz of United Power for Action and Justice , a regional network of congregations and community organizations that’s sponsoring the rally.
A legislative commission recently issued a report summarizing options for the exchange, but punted on making recommendations on how the exchange should be run.
Ultimately United Power wants to see an exchange empowered to negotiate with insurers to bring down prices for small businesses and individuals, Lenz said. But for now, the important thing is to get the exchange up and running, he said.
The group recently surveyed 600 members and reports two-thirds of them believe “the Illinois health insurance marketplace is broken.”
According to a report , half of respondents said they’d experienced large increases in premium costs, a third said they’d had large deductible hikes, and a quarter said they’d lost coverage entirely.
At the rally, leaders from Lakeview Action Coalition  will discuss the need for strong charity care policies to ensure that hospitals to assist those lacking coverage.