Supreme Court Decision Will Impact Illinois; Nearly 5,000 with No Insurance Died During Five-Year Period

The Supreme Court decision upholding the federal Affordable Care Act is good news for residents in Illinois who do not have heath insurance. Nearly 5,000 Illinois residents died between 2005 and 2010 because they didn’t have insurance, according to a report issued by Families USA.

Illinois ranked sixth among all states in the number of uninsured people between ages 25 and 64 who died prematurely, the report said. During the five-year period, 134,120 people in the U.S. died because they lacked insurance of any kind, including Medicaid, the state-federal health care program for the poor, according to the Washington-based advocacy group.

The high court ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the health insurance mandate, which requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine.

Because the law was upheld, about 1.2 million additional people in the Chicago area will have some form of coverage — either private insurance or Medicaid — by 2014, according to one estimate. The number of uninsured in the state is 1,914,000, or about 15 percent of the state’s population.

To estimate the number of deaths, Families USA used population data from the U.S. Census Bureau and mortality rates published by the National Center of Health Statistics.
The number of people without health insurance in Illinois has climbed as unemployment has risen in the recent recession.

In May, Illinois took away Medicaid benefits from about 26,400 adults as part of a broad cost-savings measure designed to save the ailing health care system. The move is designed to save nearly $50 million a year, according to a summary of Medicaid cuts by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases for individuals and families for more than 36 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including, Maywood, Glendale Heights, Winfield, Chicago (Lawndale), Matteson, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights and Dolton, Illinois.

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