Helping All Kids in Illinois

Helping All Kids in Illinois
By: Arnold Wyrick

MT. VERNON, IL --The Governor of Illinois wants to make sure every child in the state gets the medical care they need. But there are hundreds of thousands of parents who can't afford that care for their child.
The Archer family in Mt. Vernon, Illinois are one of those families who make too much money to qualify for current state healthcare programs, and not enough to afford health insurance for their two children 11 year old Dacota, and 8-year old Brittany.
"It's too expensive for us we pay everything out of pocket and hope that they don't end up in the emergency room," says Coby Archer.
She and her husband Martin have medical coverage through his work. And the two are hoping that Governor Rod Balgojevich's All Kids plan will help them meet their children's medical needs.
"It would take away a whole lot of worry. Right now it's juggling between having to buy groceries. or letting them do after school programs. Or pay $80 a week for them to have health insurance," Archer said.
The mother of two was all ears when Governor Blagojevich sat down with her on Monday after noon to explain how his All Kids plan works.
"It's based upon how much a family makes, under my plan the Archer family would pay only $40 a month for their two kids. We're talking about Brittany and Dacota being able to go to the doctor for regular check ups. We're talking about being able to go to the dentist when you need too. We're talking about going to the eye doctor," Governor Blagojevich said.
Former Congressman Glenn Poshard listened in as the Governor told the family how the state would pay for their share of the program.
"This will work, this is good. A family like this family should be able to have their children insured too. And this will work," Poshard said.
And how it will work Governor Blagojevich says through better management of the state's Medicaid Care.
"By bringing in some managed care in the medicaid system through that efficiency and reduction of costs, those savings are going to be used to provide this additional healthcare for children," Governor Blagojevich said.
A savings estimated at nearly $45-million annually. But the program must first receive a vote approval in the general assembly who will decide if it will work for taxpayers.
"We're going to see that it happens. We'll stay as long as it takes, if it requires a longer session. or if it requires us to work all night we're going to do everything we possibly can to make this happen," Governor Blagojevich said.
If the All Kids program passes in the legislator, Illinois families could begin enrolling in the program as early as July 2006.