Ortiz Introduces Measure Pushing for ‘Medicaid for All’

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Aaron Ortiz, D-Chicago, is laying the groundwork for a state health care for all program by introducing legislation to study the feasibility of creating a Medicaid buy-in program. Ortiz’s push for Medicaid for All  would allow Illinois working families the ability to purchase affordable health care plans through Medicaid rather than relying solely on the options offered by private insurance companies.

“Private health insurance companies only care about one thing: profits,” Ortiz said. “Health care is a human right and this legislation will help us determine how we expand access to affordable health care coverage to every Illinois resident.”

Ortiz introduced House Joint Resolution 105, which creates the Medicaid Buy-In Task Force to study the feasibility of establishing a Medicaid buy-in program in Illinois. In the absence of federal legislation to ensure working families have access to affordable health care coverage and Donald Trump’s continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act, plans to expand access to Medicaid have gained ground at the state level. Under a buy-in program, Medicaid plans would be offered on the state’s insurance marketplace, giving access to people who don’t traditionally qualify for Medicaid but don’t necessarily make enough to be able to purchase private health insurance.

Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon and New Mexico have published reports on how a buy-in program would look like if implemented in their states. Legislation was introduced in New Mexico soon after their report was published, and in 2017, a “Medicaid-for-all” bill made it as far as the governor’s desk in Nevada, but was ultimately vetoed by its Republican governor.

“We should all be angry that in the wealthiest country in the world, roughly 45,000 people die every year because they’re uninsured,” Ortiz said. “Making sure that every person is able to go the doctor when they’re sick, regardless of their income, shouldn’t be a radical idea, so I look forward to having a productive conversation on this legislation.”

Ortiz Cracks Down on Red Light Cameras

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In light of recent corruption scandals regarding red light cameras, state Rep. Aaron Ortiz, D-Chicago, is championing legislation that would prohibit units of local government from relying on them as way to raise revenue.

“It’s infuriating to know that an individual abused his office to enrich himself and a corporation at the expense of working families,” Ortiz said. “Time and time again we have heard stories about these cameras being misused or disproportionately impacting certain communities. It is time we outright ban them or significantly limit their use.”

Ortiz introduced House Bill 4671, which would prohibit units of local government from operating an automated traffic law enforcement system, otherwise known as red light cameras. The measure would put in place a uniform ban that would include home rule governments like Chicago, however it would allow the city to continue operating speeding cameras in designated safety zones near schools and parks.

Ortiz is also supporting House Bill 322, which would ban many other units of government within Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, and Will Counties from having red light cameras.

“For Chicago’s working families, a single unpaid ticket can quickly spiral out of control and threaten their livelihood,” Ortiz said. “Aggressive ticketing is nothing more than a punitive way for a cash-strapped city to raise revenue from its poorest residents.”