State Senator David Koehler (D-46 Peoria), chief sponsor of SB34 (now contained in HB3227) commented after the vote, "I am pleased that a super majority of my colleagues in the Senate voted for Illinois to establish its own state health insurance marketplace. Expanding help and providing a voice for small businesses and individuals who will be utilizing the new Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is the intention of the Affordable Care Act, and I am proud that the Illinois Senate has made that commitment."
Brigid Leahy, Director of Legislation at Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said, "If we're running things at the state level, we can fix things, we can make them better, we have better control over making sure that it works for consumers. If it’s in the hands of the feds, we don’t have that power."
HB3227 establishes a pro-consumer and pro-small business health insurance marketplace in Illinois. The health insurance marketplace will be the one-stop insurance shop for more than a million Illinoisans.
Speaking on behalf of the Illinois Public Health Association, Tom Hughes said, "The diversity of this board will best represent the population of Illinois and protect consumers in the new marketplace."
HB3227 ensures that the marketplace is governed by a diverse board that represents women, small businesses, communities of color, labor, public health, people with disabilities, and consumers, and provides for accountability of the insurance industry selling plans on the new marketplace.
Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care, said, "This historic vote by the Illinois Senate today shows the Senate's commitment to Illinois small businesses and individuals who will be eligible for the new Illinois health insurance marketplace. When fully implemented nearly 1.2 Illinoisans will be utilizing this marketplace. HB3227 will provide small businesses and consumers a direct voice in developing and implementation a State Based Marketplace that meets the needs of Illinoisans. Now it is up to the Illinois House to show their commitment and support to small businesses and individuals, and to President Obama's Affordable Care Act."