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Health and Medicine Supports A Better Illinois

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
March 12, 2014
Health and Medicine has signed on as a supporter of A Better Illinois’ campaign for a Fair Tax because we think it will help support the health of all Illinoisans.  Below is our statement explaining why we signed on.  You can learn more about A Better Illinois and individuals and organizations can sign on at their website: A Better Illinois.

Health and Medicine’s Statement in favor of A Better Illinois:

The State of Illinois is facing a significant revenue shortfall that has led and is projected to lead to further cuts to human services, including Medicaid, as well as K-12 Education, Higher Education, Public Safety, and General Services.  These cuts to services have severe negative consequences for the health and well-being of all Illinois residents, especially our most vulnerable people, and negatively impacts our economy overall.  Recent budgets have cut many state services to the bone, so much so that in many cases there is no room to cut without sacrificing federal matching payments or violating legal requirements to provide basic services. The State also pays a huge sum of its funds on debt services, which further indicates a need for increased revenues.

A Better Illinois’ campaign for a Fair Tax in Illinois – one that provides a lower tax rate for lower income people and a higher rate for higher income people – is a sound policy position that would help Illinois meet its health, education, public service, and infrastructure needs that support more equitable provision of services for the needs of all Illinoisans.  A progressive tax structure could generate adequate revenue to meet Illinois’ necessary service obligations and withstand economic downturns, while providing for strong public infrastructure that the entire economy, including private businesses, needs to thrive.  A fair tax structure improves the economy by helping support public sector jobs for working and middle class families who spend money at Illinois’ small and local businesses, ensuring a well-educated and trained workforce, and supporting spending that strengthens public infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, while helping create new jobs in the private sector, all of which support the State’s broader economy.  

Very important to Health and Medicine, by providing the necessary funding, a fair tax would help to improve health and reduce health inequities in Illinois, by providing the necessary human and social support, public services, education, and infrastructure that benefit all Illinoisans – especially helping the most vulnerable who can least buffer their unmet needs through personal funds – as well as a more robust Medicaid program for those who benefit from this life-saving safety net program.