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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

U.S. Senator Durbin Condemns GOP Healthcare Plan


Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin took a swipe at the Republican healthcare plan in Springfield Friday.

Republicans could not get the votes to pass the measure, even though both the president and the speaker of the House put their full weight behind the plan. Durbin says in Washington, that usually means a slam dunk.

“When the president puts his reputation on the line, whoever that president may be, they’ve never lost. Underline the word never,” Durbin said. “Ultimately, I expect the Trump and Paul Ryan effort to succeed in the House. If it doesn’t, it’s historic.”

Durbin says one million Illinoisans would have lost their insurance under the plan. Estimates from hospital groups are lower, but they say the plan would have forced healthcare layoffs and cost the state billions.

He says given the opposition from medical providers, he does not understand how a Congressman from Illinois could support it.

“How can you come home and face the administrators of our great hospitals, some community, some major hospitals, and say I just voted against you,” Durbin said.

Area Lawmakers Weigh In

Congressman Bill Foster issued a statement Friday, saying "Today, I was proud to be on the floor of the U.S. House as pressure from across the political spectrum forced the Republican Party to pull the American Health Care Act, also known as TrumpCare, from consideration. If this legislation had passed, the result would have been a disaster for retirees, veterans, and hardworking Americans."

Representative Randy Hultgren, a Republican, also issued a statement, saying “I have heard loud and clear from thousands of my constituents that they want a healthcare system that is more affordable and works for them. I had great concerns about this bill, and expressed many of those to Speaker Ryan and House leadership. But maintaining the status quo is simply unacceptable." According to his statement, "If the answer isn't this proposal, then we must return to the drawing board, hold extensive hearings and figure out a different way forward.”

  • Tom Lisi and Dana Vollmer contributed to this report.
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