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May 1, 2007

Would Establish Nation’s Most Comprehensive Plan – Helping Over 1 Million Illinoisans Access Health Care

CHICAGO - With health care costs soaring and the number of uninsured people in Illinois climbing to nearly 1.5 million, AARP says enough is enough, things have to change. Today, AARP Illinois joined Governor Rod R. Blagojevich in pressing for what is the nation’s most comprehensive health care reform initiative.

“The uninsured and underinsured cannot continue to fall through the cracks in Illinois,” said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. “AARP commends Governor Blagojevich for his commitment to the people of Illinois and his leadership to ensure people of all age groups have access to the health care they need to live healthy lives.”

“AARP is one of the largest member organizations in the country. They’ve been so successful because they stay tuned-in to the needs of their membership and put their resources into efforts that will improve the way of life for millions of people. I’m pleased to have their support here in Illinois for our ambitious and desperately-needed plan to give every person in our state access to affordable and comprehensive health coverage,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “As the individuals here today have so clearly articulated, lack of access to healthcare is a problem that impacts adults at every stage of life. Thousands of Illinoisans who have been in the workforce for decades and raised their families still can’t get the coverage they need to be able to see a physician regularly and stay on top of conditions that could have serious health consequences. We want to change that, and with the help of AARP, we’re a step closer to getting it done.”

To mark the day, AARP also kicked off a statewide campaign to urge lawmakers to support the Governor’s plan. As part of the efforts, AARP members will lobby in Springfield and take the message to the streets in their legislative districts.

“AARP is dedicated to a full court press on this issue,” added Gallo. “Access to affordable health care is a fundamental right for all Americans and Illinoisans should be no exception.”

There are nearly 1.5 million uninsured people in the state of Illinois. AARP is pressing Illinois state lawmakers to address the problem by passing the Governor’s health care reform initiative to help ensure people without coverage do not continue to fall through the cracks.

AARP has over 1.7 million members in Illinois. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; Segunda Juventud, our quarterly newspaper in Spanish; Live and Learn, our quarterly newsletter for National Retired Teachers Association members; and our web site, www.aarp.org. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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