Health Care Justice Act
The Health Care Justice Act (20 ILCS 4045) encourages the Illinois General Assembly to implement a health care access plan by July 1, 2007 that will provide affordable, accessible, quality health care for all Illinoisans. The Health Care Justice Campaign (a project of Campaign for Better Health Care) won[clarification needed] passage of the Act in 2004. The Health Care Justice Act created the Adequate Health Care Task Force (AHCTF), composed of 29 voting members, to submit recommendations for a health care access plan to the General Assembly. The bipartisan AHCTF submitted their consensus plan to the Illinois General Assembly on January 26, 2007.
The Healthcare Justice Act (HCJA) encourages Illinois to create a healthcare plan that would provide preventive, acute and long-term healthcare services to all citizens of Illinois. It also suggests the importance of not only ensuring availability for healthcare, but continuing to maintain and improve the quality of healthcare services (Illinois Department of Public Health).
One of the most significant implementations made by HCJA is the establishment of the "Adequate Healthcare Task Force (Illinois Department of Public Health). This task force is made up of 29 voting members appointed by the government. Five of the members are appointed by the Governor of Illinois, and six are appointed by each leader of the general assembly. This includes the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the President of the Senate, and the Senate Minority Leader (Illinois Department of Public Health). Ex officio (by virtue of one's status) members of the Adequate Healthcare Task Force are directors of the Department of Public Health, Healthcare and Family Services & Aging, and the secretary of the Department of Human Services (Illinois Department of Public Health).
An overview of the important sections of the bill, as provided by the Illinois General Assembly, would include sections 5, 15, 20, and 25. Section 5 acknowledges that the U.S. census reports that 1.8 million Illinoisans are without healthcare at any given time and that access to affordable quality healthcare is depleting (Illinois General Assembly). Section 5 urges that Illinois should work to provide both accessible and quality health care the all of its residents. Section 15 outlines a plan that Illinois should attempt it implement after the effective date of the bill. This plan includes: access to a full range of preventive, acute, and long-term health care services; maintaining and improving the quality of healthcare in Illinois; coverage regardless of employment status; cost-containment measures; reviewing and implementing multiple approaches to preventive medicine based on new technologies; and promotes affordable coverage for small business market (Illinois General Assembly, Public Act 093-0973). Section 20 of the HCJA outlines the aforementioned establishment of the Adequate Healthcare Task Force. And Finally, Section 25 requires that the Adequate Healthcare Task Force will hold public hearings in all Congressional Districts for community input on the issues of the HCJA. This Act took affect on July 1, 2004.
- Shear, Michael D.; Connolly, Ceci (2009-09-09). "In Illinois, a Similar Fight Tested a Future President". Washington Post.
Illinois Department of Public Health. Health Care Justice Act. http://www.idph.state.il.us/hcja/ Illinois General Assembly. Public Act 093-0973. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?name=093-0973
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