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On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on the challenges to the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act. Now it's your turn. Let us know your opinions of these local, state and national reactions to the high court's decision.

Durbin Meets With Rockford-Area Healthcare Leaders About Repeal Plan

Jenna Dooley
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin meets with Dr. Bill Gorski on March 10, 2017

Healthcare leaders are voicing concerns about the Republican repeal plan to the Affordable Care Act.

Democrat Dick Durbin is traveling the state to meet with those who would be affected by the House changes.

A panel of Rockford-area healthcare leaders met with Illinois’ senior Senator on Friday. Dr. Bill Gorski is CEO of Swedish American Hospital. He spoke of concerns with a rollback of Medicaid expansions which he says increased access for the most vulnerable patients.

But he says the political chasm over the law is far more fundamental.

“It strikes me that our society has never come to an agreement that we will provide equal access to high-quality healthcare for everyone in this country and that there will be a payment mechanism that supports that," Gorski told Durbin. "To me, it sort of seems like recognizing my belief that it is a right of people to have that. It seems like we would start there and then work into ‘What are the mechanisms to do it?’”

Durbin says he’s alarmed at the pace of the proposed changes.

“You can’t change the healthcare system in America in two weeks and expect a good result,” Durbin said.

Illinois’ Republican Governor says the repeal plan wouldn't benefit the state. Durbin says Rauner's stance proves criticism to the changes goes beyond party lines.

Durbin says he's waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to release cost and coverage estimates.

"The approval rating for the Affordable Care Act has gone up since the conversation about repeal started," Durbin told the panel. "It’s an indication of this psychological reaction. When you say you are going to take  something away from people, they start saying ‘That may be valuable to me.’”

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan touts the measure as a first step in an overhaul of the healthcare system.

Swedish American CEO Bill Gorski explains the letter he sent Senator Durbin's office outlining his concerns
Gordon Eggers of Crusader Community Health talks about the role of community health clinics and their reliance on Medicaid funding
Mary Ann Abate of Rosecrance talks about potential changes to the ACA and how it could affect the substance abuse and mental illness services they provide

Kristine Dreesen, Director of Nursing Operations at OSF HealthCare, talks about the relationship with front line staff and the Affordable Care Act

Eric Brown of RAMP talks about the impact for persons with physical disabilities
Rochelle Community Hospital CEO Mark Batty talks about the impact on smaller hospitals

Courtney Hedderman with AARP Illinois talks about the potential concerns for senior citizens

Jeremy Flynn with Illinois Health & Hospital Association talks about the potential economic impact of the current repeal plan

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.