Partisan arm-twisting in support of Illinois' Medicaid expansion legislation (HB 6253), which provides increased taxpayer funding for the "uninsured" under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is getting serious in the Illinois House.
Along with the Democrats, major lobbying interests have joined the roll-call push. In addition to the Illinois Hospital Association, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has weighed in with its "conditional support" for the bill. And it looks like the Illinois Retail Merchants Association will soon follow.
There is growing concern among Illinois center-right organizations that House Republicans may abandon their principles and cave to the Democrats and big lobbyists. Of particular concern are GOP House members who voted for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Cook County this past spring, and those who voted for the tobacco tax hike.
Sources tell Illinois Review that the Illinois Policy Institute has been engaging Republican members on the facts about, and problems with, this legislation. While the Democrats don't need Republican votes to pass the legislation, they understand that doing so provides them "bipartisan" cover while weakening their Republican "colleagues" among the GOP base.
A final wrinkle to this legislation is the fact that the feds recently informed Cook County that its Obamacare Medicaid expansion is now predicated on passage of a statewide plan. With the re-map giving many collar county Republicans portions of Cook County in their districts, expect the Cook County Democrat machine to apply significant pressure to suburban Republican state representatives.