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“As we fight here in Congress to protect Illinoisans from this dangerous legislation, it would be helpful to hear from you about the impact these proposals would have on our state and our constituents,” the pair wrote in the letter.
They released the letter Monday about an hour before the Congressional Budget Office released its report on the GOP plan. The senators wrote that the bill would end the Medicaid expansion offered under the Affordable Care Act and convert the program to a “per capita cap” system.
“In short, beginning in 2020, the Republican bill would dramatically reduce federal funding for the Medicaid expansion population — leaving the state of Illinois to pay five times more than it does today or, if that is not possible, drop people from coverage,” the senators warned.
“Even worse, while states like Illinois see a dramatic funding cliff under the Republican plan, states that failed to expand Medicaid under the ACA receive a special funding increase — seemingly to reward their decision to deny residents health coverage for the past few years,” the Democrats said.
Rauner has expressed concerns about a drop-off of federal funding under the Medicaid expansion that is providing health care coverage to about 650,000 Illinois residents. He’s also said he’s opposed to some parts of the House GOP legislation but has not offered any specifics. Last week, Rauner said he’s working with other governors "to craft a joint response or some recommendations to what's been proposed."
"My first blush read is Illinois won't do very well under the changes that they're recommending, which is a big concern to me," Rauner said last week. "I want to make sure that people in Illinois are not left in the lurch or that, you know, there's a lot of pressure to reduce insurance coverage for people in Illinois. I'm very concerned about that." (Rick Pearson)
What's on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will address the Opportunity Youth Summit in the morning and appear with the Chicago Bulls at Parker Community Academy in the afternoon.
*Gov. Rauner's has no public events.
*The city's Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development is set to meet.
From the notebook
*Democrats slam House GOP health care overhaul: Soon after Durbin and Duckworth revealed their letter, a Congressional Budget Office report said 14 million people would lose insurance coverage by next year under the House GOP health care rewrite, an estimate that drew quick reaction from Illinois House Democrats.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago said the Trump administration “promised that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act would make our nation a healthier, safer place for all. Once again, the reality is different than the rhetoric.”
Quigley, who said the GOP measure would have an immense, immediate and devastating impact, added: “We cannot afford to go backwards when lives are on the line.”
Illinois Republicans didn't comment immediately on the CBO report, which also said the GOP measure would cut federal deficits by $337 billion in the next decade, chiefly through cuts to Medicaid and the end of subsidies to millions of people who buy coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston said if Republicans were looking for a second opinion, “they can ask the American Medical Association, the AARP, the American Hospital Association, or any of the countless other groups and organizations that have vehemently opposed this bill.”
“Republicans won’t get away with their plot to rip apart our health care system,” she said.
Rep. Cheri Bustos of Moline weighed in, too, saying the Republican measure would make devastating cuts to Medicaid and let millions lose health care coverage “all so Washington Republicans can give the wealthiest Americans billions of dollars in tax breaks.” (Katherine Skiba)
*Tax group says Illinois ranks 23rd for business climate: The Washington-based Tax Foundation has ranked Illinois in 23rd place on the group’s “State Business Tax Climate Index,” which measures how each state’s tax code is structured.
Other findings show Illinois ranks 41st when it comes to federal aid as a percentage of state general revenue. The nation’s average is 30 percent, and Illinois gets 26.8 percent of its general revenue from federal sources.
Illinois also ranks 11th from the top in individual state income tax collections per capita with $1,237. That compares with a national average of $967. Illinois ranks 4th for state corporate income tax collections per capita, at $315. The national average is $144.
What we're writing
*Fardon issues fiery letter on exit as U.S. attorney in Chicago.
*Emanuel urges Trump not to cut Great Lakes funds.
*Illinois rivers project could get new life with Trump infrastructure push.
*Group seeking president's tax returns add 'Trump Chicken' balloon for Chicago march.
*New bill for $15 minimum wage in Illinois reopens wage fight.
*Rep. Gutierrez, activists stage sit-in at Chicago ICE office.
What we're reading
*Freed suspect Kamari Belmont's luck turned bad in hail of gunfire.
*Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author of 'You May Want to Marry My Husband,' dies at 51.
*Illinois State fumes over 'idiotic, stupid' NCAA tournament exclusion.
Follow the money
*Congressional Budget Office: Obamacare replacement eventually would reduce insured numbers by 24 million people.
*Trump budget would vastly shrink the federal government workforce.
*Why few people are worried about a possible Fed rate hike this week.
*A look at simmering tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands.