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Illinois Advocates Take on Health Insurance Industry
Date:3/4/2009

Coalition of Health and Consumer Advocates Launch Statewide Campaign Aimed at Tackling Unfair Industry Practices & Soaring Costs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the economy worsens, soaring health insurance rates and unfair industry practices are leaving a growing number of individuals and businesses struggling when it comes to health care. Today, advocate groups from across the state converged on the State Capitol, joining with legislators, business owners and people who told of their own health insurance horror stories, to launch a statewide grassroots effort to clean up the industry in Illinois.

Nearly 30 groups, including AARP, Illinois PIRG, AIDS Foundation, and the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, are calling on the General Assembly to pass the Individual Health Insurance Fairness Act (House Bill 3923), sponsored by Representative Greg Harris.

"We're launching a statewide campaign to address a statewide problem - the insurance industry has a stranglehold on businesses, families and those who are dealing with the loss of a job," said Bob Gallo, State Director for AARP Illinois. "AARP commends Representative Harris for taking a stand on the critical issue of health insurance reform."

The grassroots efforts launched by the groups will include community forums and town halls held across the state, on-line advocacy efforts, a statewide petition drive, and a new 800 number, the Health Insurance Reform Hotline (1-800-664-9903), to help connect people directly with their legislators to urge support for the legislation.

"We need to be sure that the law here in Illinois protects our families, children and small businesses, and is not there solely to help insurance companies as they deny people coverage and pad their bottom line," said Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago). "It's a disgrace when our State laws help deny health insur
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SOURCE AARP Illinois
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