Downstate hospital executives claim repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement would cost the state more than 84-thousand jobs.
The Illinois Hospital Association argued having 1.2 million more Illinoisians with insurance has helped create thousands of new jobs downstate. They said if the Affordable Care Act goes, so do the jobs.
It’s meant to back up U-S Senator Dick Durbin's attack on the Republican move to scrap former President Obama's signature law. Durbin said there are plenty of ways to improve it that would be far less draconian than a straight repeal.
“It starts with an honest bipartisan effort to say, ‘Alright, how do we make the premium cost more affordable? How do we treat downstate hospitals and others in a fair way?," said Durbin.
Downstate facilities have attracted a large share of the state’s elderly and poor who got insurance through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. In that time, healthcare has been one of the few industries that's still adding jobs to the region.
Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner said Obamacare has massive flaws and needs to change, but he does not see how a simple repeal could work.