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Support health care coverage for hardworking moms and dads!

Family Care could help 200,000 working parents in Illinois. Next week tell budget negotiators "Put Family care in the budget. Don't come home without it!"
Illinois has a great opportunity to help make a dent in the 1.8 people uninsured throughout the state. House Bill 23, or Family Care, would expand KidCare, the Illinois health insurance program for children.
Family Care would raise KidCare eligibility from 185% of the federal poverty level to 200% (or from about $33,000 annually for a family of four to $35,000). It would also cover the parents of enrolled children. It is estimated that 200,000 working mothers and fathers could receive coverage from this program.
Family Care passed the House unanimously and while it has tremendous bi-partisan support in the Senate, it has been stuck in the Rules Committee since late March since the governor never wrote Family Care into the budget. Because of this, legislators claim the money is not available.
But there still is a chance for these hard working moms and dads to receive health insurance.
Next week, budget negotiations will be taking place between the governor and caucus leaders. It is still possible for Family Care to be written into the budget if the governor and caucus leader believe it is important enough.
On Monday, May 21, supporters of Family Care are holding a mass call in day to the governor and caucus leaders. We hope to flood the phone lines all day long and deliver the message "Put Family Care in the budget. Don’t come home without it!"

On Monday, please call:
- Speaker of the House
Michael Madigan
217-782-5350
- Senate President
James "Pate" Philip
217-782-3840
- Governor
George Ryan
217-782-6830

And if you have time call:
- House Republican Leader
Lee Daniels
217-782-4014
- Senate Democratic Leader
Emil Jones
217-782-2728
- Your local state representatives and senator
On Tuesday, we will be delivering this message again, this time in person with a rally and lobbying activities. We will meet in room D1 of the Stratton Building in Springfield (right across from the capital building) at 11 a.m. We will have a brief rally and then visit the governor and caucus leaders. Participants will also meet with their legislators in the afternoon.

The state budget is $50 billion and Family Care will only cost $7 million. Many people in Springfield are saying that the budget is tight and it would be impossible to find even $7 million in the budget. But with $40 million just discovered to relocate Boeing to Chicago, $7 million can definitely be found for such a program as important as Family Care.
Family Care would be financed by both the federal and state government, as KidCare is now. For every dollar the state puts into the program, they receive two dollars from the federal government.
Last year Illinois had to return $69 million to the federal government because we didn’t have enough children enrolled in KidCare to use all of our funds. Luckily, we were given a second chance to use over half of that money in addition to our $122 million allotment for this year. But even with strong new enrollment of children, the state will not be able to use all of those funds. We can’t let these funds be returned to Washington while hundreds of thousands of hard working families go without basic health care.
Please act Monday and Tuesday for the hardworking families of Illinois.

For more information, please call Meghan McCann at the Campaign for Better Health Care, 217-352-5600.

The Campaign for Better Health Care is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition working for universal health care.
 
 

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