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Advocates Rally in Daley Plaza for Affordable Care Act

Date: 
06/28/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  
Contact: 

Lynda DeLaforgue, Co-Director Citizen Action/IL: 312.427.2114 x202  or cell  773-251-0328

John Gaudette, Organizing Director Citizen Action/IL: 312.427.2114 x208

Attached: Health Care Stories

Advocates rally in Daley Plaza for Affordable Care Act: Groups hail landmark Supreme Court decision, call on Illinois lawmakers to stop dragging their feet and establish a Health Exchange for Illinois and Expand Medicaid

Chicago – Citizen Action/Illinois, SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana, Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition, and Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans will hold a rally in Daley Plaza at 5:00 PM today, praising today’s Supreme Court ruling as a profound victory for American consumers. With this seminal Supreme Court decision, the constitutional debate over the law ended and the quest toward affordable and accessible healthcare moved triumphantly forward. Healthcare advocates said that 30 million more Americans can now be covered and that the worst insurance company abuses will become a relic of the past.

What: Emergency Speak Out on Supreme Court Decision

Where: Daley Plaza on Dearborn and Washington Street in Chicago

When: 5:00 PM today, June 28th. 1-1 interviews with ACA beneficiaries at 4:30 PM

William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois, called on Illinois lawmakers to continue to press forward on health care reform, saying, “Today’s decision was a historic moment for affordable health care in Illinois. Now, our legislators must seize the opportunity to pass a high-quality health benefits exchange and restore the cuts made to family care by participating in the expansion of Meicaid. There should be no more excuses for inaction.” 

Among the most important and celebrated provisions of the law were allowing children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, which has already benefited 102,600 young adults in Illinois; preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions; creating transparent and competitive health benefits exchanges for individuals and small businesses to purchase insurance; and ending lifetime limits on health insurance benefits, which has helped 4,670,000 people in Illinois.

“With the constitutional debate in the rearview mirror, advocates and lawmakers can now get down to the hard work of ensuring that every American has access to quality and affordable health care, said Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director, Citizen Action/Illinois.

Media interested in including such stories in their coverage should contact Lynda DeLaforgue, Co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois (312.427.2114 x202), or John Gaudette, Citizen Action/Illinois Organizing Director(312.427.2114 x208), to request a health story.

"My husband and I own our own business.  We are both over 50 and have pre-existing conditions.  We lost our insurance provider in 2010 and had no insurance until this law went into effect - we were turned down by 8 providers and told we were uninsurable. We now have insurance that costs the same as the rate charged to people who work for large corporations because of the provisions of this law.”

- Ann Battenfield, Chicago

“My family and I have greatly benefited from the Affordable Care Act already and it still is not fully in place. - My brother received affordable insurance from the pre-existing plan in Illinois due to the president's plan. Prior to this he was charged $3000.00 a month due to having diabetes. He now pays $475.00 a month with great coverage. I am sick and tired of people defending the insurance companies.”

-Colleen Long, Lisle

“I no longer have to pay deductibles or co-pays for mammograms or pelvic exams. Years ago, when uninsured, I went for several years without mammograms. During that time, I developed breast cancer and ended up $80,000 in debt. I am close to retirement age. Chemotherapy left me with serious problems with my feet. I work full time so I can have insurance coverage. For years, the only way I could get insurance was through employer’s group coverage because of the pre-existing condition. It was critical that I had insurance because the cancer could return.”

- Marianne Flanagan, Des Plaines

“My husband and I have retiree insurance through my husband's former employer HSBC, and because of the ERRP program in the ACA, our premium was reduced by $60 a month, saving us $720 a year. HSBC did inform retirees that participation in the ERRP program of the ACA was the reason for the premium reduction.  My 61 year old cousin has pre-existing conditions and could not get insurance. The Illinois plan was costing her way too much so she had to drop it. She hopes that when the law goes into effect in 2014, she can find an affordable  policy through the exchange that will be set up. She works, but her last employer didn't offer health insurance, and the plan her new employer offers is a high deductible plan with too high a premium.”

- Debi Rajczyk, Schaumburg

“I am a senior citizen and I have Diabetes, Spinal Stenosis and fibromyalgia among other health issues.  My insurance and prescription co-pays eat up my social security check.  If my husband should pass before me I would be in the position of deciding whether to pay my bills or buy my medicine.  Two years ago I lost both of my sisters too soon.  All they had was Medicare.  If the ACA was in effect and they had adequate insurance they might both still be here.”

- Helen Roberts, Oakwood

“My 24 year old daughter does not make enough money to pay for individual health care. She became very ill with a throat abscess, and almost died.  If it weren't for healthcare reform, she would not be covered under my husband's insurance plan.  Then, if we had not been able to get her into the excellent hospital that saved her, she might have died.”

-Jeri Marks, Chicago