One of the first articles on McHenry County Blog was
the Biggest Beneficiary of
Governor Rod Blagojevich’s “
All Kids” Health Plan?
It went up on October 24, 2005.
At a town meeting conducted by State Senator Pam Althoff and State Rep. Mike Tryon in Lake in the Hills on October 24, 2005, the question came up and impressed the Northwest Herald reporter and editor enough that it ended up on the front page of the paper.
As far as I can figure out, the NW Herald was the only in the state to alert people in a big way as to what was coming down.
State Senator Chris Lauzen was the first politician to send out a press release on the subject. I ran it on October 27, 2007.
As Lauzen put it,
“So now, in addition to free elementary and secondary education in Illinois for illegal immigrants with no questions asked, those breaking the immigration law will have another incentive as taxpayers subsidize universal medical insurance for their kids.”
Maybe it should be state policy that Illinois taxpayers pay for health care for children brought here illegally.
But, if so, I strongly believe that should have been vibrantly debated by the Illinois General Assembly.
If such a debate took place, it was not reported in any major Illinois newspaper.
In early December, Elgin’s Daily Courier-News wrote the only editorial opposing the plan. The title was
“Blagojevich’s All Kids program is…the greatest financial and social blunder in the history of the state…
- no wealth test…
- no residency requirement…
- no need for proof of citizenship…
“Illinois has solved the world’s health care problems. This state has one of the largest illegal alien populations in the United States, a trend sure to accelerate if this becomes law…(two of five babies born in Kane County are to mothers who are illegally in this country…)”
How bad was the bill?
Here’s what Democratic Primary opponent Edwin Eisendrath said on December 20th “”The bill was shorter than the press release.”
By the end of January, the Daily Herald had figured out the illegal alien angle. It reported Ester Lopez, deputy chief of staff for Gov. Rod Blagojevich said,
“…the state provides in-state tuition and affordable health care to all immigrants.”
Better late than never, I guess.
Eleven months after my first article, my son’s pediatrician’s practice issued this notice about not accepting Kids Care anymore.
Guess the state was not paying its bills.
Another notice, this time on red paper, showed up at his doctor’s office in December.
On May 30th, Daily Herald reporter Nick Shields wrote a major article on All Kids.
Although “Illinois has enrolled thousands of undocumented immigrant children…officials don’t know how much taxpayers are spending on their care.”
The question is being addressed only about two and a half years after the bill passed.
Blagojevich’s spokesman says they account for less than 4% of the total enrolled. About 56,000 kids, the Daily Herald was told.
But Blagojevich really doesn’t want to know.
If the figures were available someone like Roselle’s State Sen. Carole Pankau might raise a stink.
Good for her.
Also in the article is this quote from Mahomet Republican State Rep. Chapin Rose:
“We haven’t paid our nursing home bills in six months, yet we’re opening up an entitlement package to a whole class of individuals who aren’t citizens.”
Maybe forcing Illinois taxpayers to finance health care for the illegal alien kids living here is the right thing to do, as Blagojevich people assert. Morally wrong not to do it, in fact.
One thing is for sure.
Unlike Medicaid payments for citizens and legal aliens, those for illegal aliens cannot be submitted to the federal government for a 50% match.
That means Illinois taxpayers foot the entire bill.
And, Blagojevich’s bureaucrats won’t tell the cost.