From reader Cal Skinner:
The only Chicago mention (or elsewhere, for that matter) that [Gov. Blagojevich’s] AllKids [health insurance program] includes for the first time those children in the US illegally was by Dick Kay on a WTTW show. Don't you think that ought to be at least part of the debate?
From Dick Kay, asked about this:
He has it exactly right! They will not apply under Kids Care because that is a federally funded program. All Kids is state-only and will cover illegal immigrants so long as they can pay the monthly premium and the co-pay. For that matter it would cover children of billionaires so long as they could pay the much higher premiums that would require. Our sister station, Telemundo, has done a couple of stories on the program.
From Rockford Register-Star columnist Chuck Sweeny just today: AllKids was a stealthy victory by Blago, an opening shot in his re-election campaign:
The governor?s plan to provide universal health insurance to 253,000 uncovered Illinois children and pay for it by putting Medicaid recipients on managed care, was dropped on the public Oct. 6 as a big surprise.
Soon the bill-signing, “ at a Chicago school or maybe at his favorite steel mill, A. Finkl & Sons, surrounded by smiling children with colorful balloons.” Then the campaign:
When the ink’s dry, the governor will take the “All Kids” campaign on the road to sign up families in the run-up to the program’s July 1 start. That’s eight more months of campaign-style rallies paid for by taxpayers and amplified by your friends in the free media — that’s us. He won’t have to spend a dime of his massive war chest, which held more than $14 million as of June 30, and could hit $20 million by year’s end.