CHICAGO (AP) — State lawmakers in Illinois adjourned Friday without sending Gov. Pat Quinn, D, a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange bill.
Quinn has been trying to get an exchange bill signed into law for three years.
Because Illinois has not yet moved to set up its own, state-based exchange, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could end up providing exchange services for its residents for years to come.
Quinn had hoped the state could start preparing to take control of the Illinois exchange by 2015.
Illinois seems to be unlikely to be able to stick to that timetable, unless lawmakers pass exchange legislation when they convene for an abbreviated veto session this fall.
Jim Duffett of the Campaign for Better Health Care, an Illinois group that supports PPACA, predicts that if lawmakers don’t approve a state-run exchange in the fall, there won’t be one in Illinois for at least five years.
State senators approved the bill along party lines, but the full House never voted on it before last Friday’s adjournment. A spokesman for House Speaker Mike Madigan noted the bill “didn’t have much bipartisan support” in the Senate and would have had “tough sledding” in the House.
Illinois — Obama’s home state — has been slower to implement major PPACA programs than many other Democrat-controlled states have been.
Illinois officials are expecting an HHS-run Illinois exchange to open Oct. 1 and offer 165 policies, or “qualified health plans” (QHPs), from six carriers.