August 27, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois House of Representatives,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto House Bill 4165 from the 100th General Assembly, which explicitly prohibits the State of Illinois from applying for any federal waiver that would permit an individual or group health insurance plan to reduce or eliminate any protection or coverage that was in effect on January 1, 2017 or applying for any federal Medicaid waiver that would result in more restrictive standards, methodologies, procedures, or other requirements than those that were in effect in Illinois as of January 1, 2017. The State of Illinois would be wholly restricted from exercising its flexibility in pursuing insurance coverage options under the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, Illinois Insurance Code, and Illinois Public Aid Code.
This legislation calls for the State to attain a joint resolution of the General Assembly before pursuing a federal waiver and would ultimately lessen the executive authority granted to me for my administration to use its discretion to adjust insurance coverage as allowed by the federal waiver process under applicable federal statutes such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Social Security Act, and Children’s Health Insurance Program Act. This legislation purports to protect persons with pre-existing conditions and coverage for services identified as essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act, but instead, runs afoul of the integrity of each of the respective branches of government and permits improper governmental overreach and heavy-handedness in picking clear winners and losers in the insurance marketplace in Illinois. The insurance marketplace should determine what the market will break regarding what coverages should or should not be offered to consumers, not our elected legislators.
It is my responsibility to ensure that the most competitive group health insurance plans are made available to all Illinois citizens. I cannot, in good faith, allow for any erosion of my gubernatorial charge in this regard.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 4165, entitled “AN ACT concerning healthcare”, with the forgoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.