All Kids Expansion

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

"They just sent me away cause I didn't have insurance. Just stabilize me and basically said that's all they could do for me," says Rockford College student Nicholas Autocoomp.

Finding the funds to help fix Nicholas Autocoomp's dislocated shoulder is more painful than the football injury itself. The 21-year-old Rockford College student doesn't have health insurance and never has. Given his age, Autocoomp now qualifies for the Governor's All Kids Bridge program, which extended health care coverage to 21-year-olds.

"It's really hard with health insurance to pay for it for college students cause they don't have the money they need and they don't necessarily have parents that can afford it," says Rockford College sophomore Megan Albert.

The Governor slashed several programs so he can spend 20-million dollars on the all kids expansion, despite opposition from lawmakers. Many feel the state is moving towards socialized health care, which is used in Canada.

"The Canadian system is the best system if there's nothing wrong with you or if there's something wrong with you you're going to wait a long time to receive health care," says Dr. Errol Baptist.

Dr. Baptist says 1.2 million Canadian patients can't find a primary doctor. 61% of x-rays are outdated, and cancer patients could wait months before getting chemotherapy treatments. So while socialized health care could help some, Baptist feels it's not worth the price.

For every dollar the state pays on Medicaid, the federal government gives 50-cents back. However with this All-Kids program, Senator Dave Syverson says the state gets nothing in return, which causes even more budget problems.


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