Falling in line with several states, Illinois Republicans have teamed up to try and stop the health care reform bill signed by President Obama on Tuesday. While GOP Senate nominee Mark Kirk promised to "lead the effort" to repeal the law, it was others who attempted to get Attorney General Lisa Madigan to file a lawsuit to block the overhaul.
Illinois Republican "no" voters including Reps. Don Manzullo, Aaron Schock, Peter Roskam, Judy Biggert, John Shimkus and Tim Johnson signed a letter addressed to Madigan asking her to join more than a dozen other state attorneys general who are claiming the law is unconstitutional, according to the Associated Press.
Madigan's office told the AP it would not file any lawsuit that would attempt to block health reform, and other state Democrats have openly supported the new law.
"This was about the 'base,' not about any hopes that AG Madigan would act on this request," Capitol Fax blog's Rich Miller pointed out.
Though a lawsuit through Madigan won't happen, that has not stopped Illinois Republicans from publicly bashing the bill.
Kirk, who promised he would "lead the effort" to repeal the bill before it had even passed, has continued to take heat from the White House on some of his statements (including referring to President Obama as "this guy"), but other state Republicans have been even more outspoken about their dislike of the bill:
"This bill is not only going to cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars they don't have -- a federal government that's already struggling to meet its obligations with Medicare and Medicaid -- but it's going to put a huge unfunded mandate on every state in the country, including Illinois," Rep. Schock told Fox Illinois.
Rep. Manzullo echoed Schock's concerns:
"This bill that has passed is a job killer, because every time you pass a bill that will cost employers more money that means less people will be going to work and my concern is it will add to the unemployment in Northern Illinois, that's the last thing we need." Manzullo said.
While state Republicans are busy bill-bashing; others in the state are happy about reform.
Chicago-area Democrats have supported the bill for the most part, and western Illinois Rep. Phil Hare told Fox voting for reform was "the right thing to do."
"It is right for our economy and budget because it will trim $1.3 trillion off of the deficit in 20 years," Hare said. "Most of all, it is right because in the richest country in the world, no one should ever go bankrupt just because they get sick."
The Illinois General Assembly even passed a resolution last week urging "President Obama and the United States Congress to take immediate action to adopt meaningful heath care system reform in keeping with the Obama administration's articulated goals."
In a letter to the Chicago Sun-Times, Maryjane A. Wurth, president of the Illinois Hospital Association wrote:
"Health-care reform isn't about politics -- it's about people. Because of this legislation, people in Illinois will no longer have a diminished quality of life or be at risk of dying merely because they lack health insurance. They won't be forced into bankruptcy because of a devastating diagnosis. The hospital community will do its part to ensure that our health-care system is strong today -- and for generations to come."
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