WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Affordable Care Act

The enrollment period is now open for getting coverage from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The signup up period is just six weeks rather than twelve like previous years and ends December 15, 2017.

A new report says repealing the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — would have a disproportionately negative effect in rural parts of Illinois.

UPDATED 3/24/2017 4:45 PM

Republican leaders in the U.S. House have pulled the American Health Care Act from the floor after failing to round up enough votes within their own caucus.

Had the bill passed, Americans would have no longer been required to buy health insurance, and it would have eliminated the current subsidies that are used to bring down the cost of premiums.

NPR and dozens of member stations collected public statements from members of Congress to help the public understand where lawmakers stood on this issue.

Darin Lahood's Campaign for Congress

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) said he supports the House Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. LaHood said even though 20 million more people now have health care due to Obamacare, the insurance is not affordable.

Your Health Insurance: Knowledge is Power

Feb 25, 2016

I'm here today to talk about health insurance. No, not what makes the news -whether to repeal the ACA, cutting Medicare and Medicaid,  going to Canada or another country for prescription drugs or procedures.  What I want to talk about is the importance of  knowing the details of your own individual health insurance policy.

 Following today's ruling  from the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois residents who bought health insurance under the affordable care act will get to keep tax credits that cut the cost of their plans. 


Some Farmers Warming Up to the Affordable Care Act

Apr 1, 2015
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Until the federal health insurance marketplace opened in late 2013, farmers and ranchers were more likely to be uninsured than many other occupational groups. The Affordable Care Act changed that by requiring them to buy insurance. But it also gave them coverage options they didn't have before. 

Illinois lawmakers missed a Jan. 1 deadline to approve a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Without its own exchange, the state forfeits millions of federal dollars while leaving consumers vulnerable to paying more for insurance.

Illinois was facing dual deadlines last month when lawmakers made a final effort to create its own marketplace. The first was the looming New Year---which they blew past last week, losing out on as much as $270 million.

Wiki Commons

For this Thanksgiving, last winter’s “polar vortex” became this season’s “bomb cyclone” – meteorologists’ trendy term for an intense, fast-moving storm resulting from the jet stream shifting and sending frigid air roaring south into the United States, icing the roads and causing wind-chills to flirt with zero.

But the cold can’t last forever.

L Harless / Flickr Creative Commons

More than 8 million people nationally signed up for health insurance during the first open enrollment period.

L Harless / Flickr Creative Commons

The open enrollment period to sign up for health insurance is over. But, many might still be able to register for coverage.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Jim Oberweis of Illinois has announced his support for raising the minimum wage, but only for those over the age of 26.

Courtesy of: Eagle View Community Health System

Everyone must have health coverage whether it’s a private plan, through work or a government subsidy by March 31. Those who don’t will face a tax penalty next year.

Specially-trained navigators for the Affordable Care Act are preaching patience as the federal government corrects problems with the healthcare website.

Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) continues to push the federal government to reverse - or at least remedy - the Affordable Care Act.

Rich Egger

My family and I have spent the past couple of weeks visiting our doctors. All four of us have had our annual physicals, eye and dental exams. Each time I enter a doctor’s office I am grateful that we have access to affordable health insurance. There was a time not long ago, when I was a graduate student and my husband was working full time, that we were uninsured. Like many people in this country, our monthly income barely covered the rent and groceries, let alone “luxuries” like health insurance.  

Eventually, employers will have to abide by health-care reform, but President Obama last month said he was giving an extra year to comply to health-care requirements for business, which said it needed more time to comply with the overhaul. U.S. businesses that had been looking at possible penalties if they didn’t provide health insurance to their employees by January are getting another year before they must comply with the law. The requirement affects companies with at least 50 employees.

The Obama administration listened. Labor leaders wonder: Did anyone listen to them?

IL Politicians React to the President's Remarks

Jul 25, 2013

President Obama make it a clear goal of his presidency to address issues facing the American middle class. Several Illinois politicians were on hand for the occasion, but not all Illinois lawmakers have come out in support of the President’s address.

President Obama: Middle Class Plan

Jul 24, 2013
Chris Lovingood

The president started by linking his remarks to a speech he also gave at Knox College just after he was elected Senator.

Galesburg Chamber Survey Ahead of Presidential Visit

Jul 22, 2013

The Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to area businesses ahead of  President Obama’s visit to Knox College on Wednesday.

Schock Votes to Delay Affordable Care Act

Jul 22, 2013
Congressman Schock's Office

The US House of Representatives has voted to delay a key provision of the President’s signature health reform law.

Rich Egger

Activists believe there continue to be healthcare disparities that impact racial and ethnic minorities.

But Byron Oden-Shabazz, intern for the Western Illinois University Center for the Studies of Masculinities and Men’s Development, said studies have shown two-thirds of Americans are unaware of the disparities.

“If we are going to have a healthy healthcare system, we (must) learn how to treat all people,” said Oden-Shabazz.

On this Valentine’s Day – still celebrated in some churches as a Feast day – it might be instructive, or reflective, to tie romantic love to brotherly love. In public affairs, that’s difficult.

Illinois lawmakers began November with an election that solidified Democratic majorities and they will finish the month by returning to the Capitol. 

Their annual fall meetings are called veto sessions because lawmakers are supposed to consider legislation the governor rejected or changed.  Those could include statewide regulation of plastic bags and a plan to let cancer treatment centers reject job applicants who smoke.

In The Tri States

Jun 30, 2012

A look back at the top stories and features from the Tri States Public Radio news department from June 2012.  

Time ran out on plans to build Shamrock Acres, a large scale hog farm proposed for southeast McDonough  County. Tri States Public Radio reported the story on June 13, one week before anyone else.

Also during the month, the US Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, the chairperson of the Lee County Board was defeated in the June 5 primary, and the Transit of Venus happened for the final time until 2117.

Schock Finds Good News in Court Decision

Jun 28, 2012

Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18, Ill.) says he can find only one bright spot in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the bulk of the Affordable Care Act.

The court struck down a provision that Schock says would have reversed the state legislature's efforts to reduce the services and number of people on Medicaid.

The provision would have required states to increase the number of people on Medicaid or face funding cuts.

Churches help people worship God, not institutions. States help people serve communities, not bureaucracies.