Today, the Illinois House of Representatives passed Senator Frerichs' bill to block changes to the State’s group health insurance contracts. SB 178, which would continue current contracts including that with Health Alliance for two years, now moves to the Governor where he must sign it for it to become law. Read the news release after the jump.
From the Illinois State Senate
State Senator Michael Frerichs, 52nd Legislative District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 30, 2011
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 217/782.0663
FRERICHS’ BILL TO BLOCK CHANGES TO GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE CONTRACTS PASSES BOTH CHAMBERS, NOW MOVES TO GOVERNOR
SPRINGFIELD, IL –Today, legislation introduced by State Senator Michael Frerichs (D – Champaign) to block changes to the State’s group health insurance contracts passed the Illinois House of Representatives on a 98-15 vote. The legislation, SB 178, now moves to the Governor’s desk, where Governor Pat Quinn must sign it for it to become law.
“Today, members of the General Assembly, from both the House and Senate, sent Governor Quinn a strong message,” said Frerichs. “It’s now up to the Governor to respond.”
Despite outcry from tens of thousands of people in downstate Illinois, and despite a recent vote from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CoGFA) to stop this major policy shift, the administration has continued to push new health insurance contracts for months.
“In passing this bill, the General Assembly has given the Governor’s Office one last and final chance to stop this process and re-bid the contracts,” said Frerichs. “I encourage the Governor to sign this bill into law.”
Sponsored by Representative Naomi Jakobsson (D – Urbana) in the House, Frerichs’ legislation would continue current contracts—including the State’s contract with Health Alliance—for an additional two years while the process is restarted and contracts re-bid from scratch. Without CoGFA’s consent, the proposed contracts could not advance unless approved by a joint resolution of the General Assembly.
The measure also shifts the responsibility of health care purchasing away from HFS and back to the Department of Central Management Services (CMS), the office which previously handled this type of procurement.