Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In the Dark-Updated

Forget about potential power shortages, the biggest blackout in Springfield is in the legislative process. For two weeks now, I and others have been asking for something more substantive on the All Kids proposal other than the ubiquitous promotional literature.

And even though the Governor is set to address us on this issue in a few hours, to date, I have still received nothing from his office. So let me tell you how heartening it is that I get to read in the Journal-Register this morning that while legislators' requests have gone unanswered, the press was given a draft copy of the bill.

But when the subsequent article is titled, All Kids Bill is Sketchy, I don't know that that was quite the coverage they were hoping for:
Draft legislation authorizing All Kids is 20 pages long, with nine pages actually devoted to the highly publicized initiative to ensure that all of Illinois' children have health insurance...

But specific premiums, co-payments and co-insurance are not spelled out, with the draft bill stating that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will determine them according to a scale based on family income...

The draft says nothing about how the switch from a fee-for-service Medicaid system to a managed-care system will work. That, too, will be determined later through a rule-making process.

A Blagojevich spokeswoman, Abby Ottenhoff, said, "That's how managed care is implemented."

And apparently, this is how the process works down here now. As I've previously said, for a number of reasons, I will very likely vote for this bill, but could they let us do it with some sense of confidence and knowledge about what we are voting on?

And don't even get me started on the ethics stuff.

Well you gotta love this...according to the SJ-R article, All Kids is an amendment to HB806. And online, I can see that indeed an Amendment 3 was filed to HB806 today by President Jones, but...you guessed it, as a floor amendment, you still can't get the language online.

And as I sit here on the House floor, there's not a Teleprompter in sight. Don't know if this is going to make things better or worse. We'll find out.


At October 25, 2005 at 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep Fritchey, you are in an unfortunate spot insofar as your heart (and Party leadership) will want you to vote for the bill. Yet on the other hand, you are acknowledging that you don't know much about the policy. Given the ongoing pension fiasco, and a littany of other craziness, there is absolutely no responsible financial stewardship going on in Springfield. It's scary to hear elected officials talk about supporting bills they admit to being underinformed about.

At October 25, 2005 at 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just like Megis Field...no one was willing to risk anything (their job, their pay, their health benefits) to do the right thing there, either. "The Man" stood up an literally bulldozed his will upon us.

When it comes time to save Illinois, no one will want to risk anything to save it either.

At October 25, 2005 at 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is an out for you, Rep. Fritchey:

"I did not vote for the AllKids bill because I wish to be able to support bills that increase funding to the cash strapped AFSCME, DCFS, and state universities instead. I also want more money to support primary and secondary public education in Illinois.

Voting for this bill will mean less money in the future for the aforementioned groups"

i.e. Use the bureaucracy against itself. Giving money to 'A' means less money for 'B'.


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