The Peoria area is blessed to have a thriving medical community. As a result, persons throughout our region have access to skilled professionals and associated resources that we must not jeopardize.
With this in mind, we must be keenly aware of the impact of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.”
In 2011 Illinois taxpayers saw Governor Quinn and his legislative allies impose the largest tax hike in state history. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed what we already knew – that the President and his allies in Congress also enacted the largest federal tax hike in U.S. history, under the guise of "health care reform."
Illinois taxpayers are angry and frustrated because the state income tax increase gave them so little, but cost them so much. They were promised that the money would be used to pay off the state's backlog of bills and restore Illinois to financial stability. Instead, Illinois remains buried in an $8 billion backlog, our credit rating is still at the bottom of the nation, our public employee pension system remains the worst-funded in the nation, and taxes and excessive regulations continue to discourage businesses and job growth.
Is it any wonder than people fear Obamacare will also result in the average citizen paying more and getting less? We have been promised a new era of health care; but, at what price?
Governor Quinn has been pushing for months to enact an insurance exchange at the state-level to lock in Obamacare in Illinois. We have urged caution so that premature action does not jeopardize what our citizens already enjoy.
In our community we have great hospitals and scores of medical specialists. We must not risk that care, derail medical advancements or deny people access to the latest technology – all legitimate fears associated with the implementation of Obamacare.
Spring 2012’s legislative session gave Illinois a bipartisan reform to our state’s massive Medicaid program. Reductions were needed because, though the intentions may have been good, the promises of the past proved unaffordable in the present.
I believe the intentions of the President and his allies were completely misguided with Obamacare. They may have thought that their intentions were good and noble; however governments do not implement intentions. They adopt programs and policies that must always be paid for and government has only one source for that money – the taxpayer. Whatever steps are taken in the coming months, they cannot come at the expense of what we already enjoy.
Senator LaHood represents the Peoria area in the Illinois General Assembly.