Congressmen Predict Health Care Bill's Effect on Illinois

March 22, 2010

Bill Foster(WBEZ/File)

Illinois' delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines for Sunday's vote on a major health care overhaul bill, save for one south suburban Democrat who broke ranks with his party over concerns about federal funding for abortions.

The $940 billion measure passed the House late last night, by a vote of 219 to 212.  Not a single Republican voted for the bill, and 34 Democrats defected, including Rep. Dan Lipinski.

West suburban Democratic Congressman Bill Foster says the bill passed by the House will help Illinois. He says he had a long talk with the state's Department of Insurance director before the vote.

FOSTER: It confirmed to me what I suspected: that there'd be a positive impact for, really, Illinois businesses and consumers both. And so that made me feel good about it.

But Foster says he's not completely satisfied with the bill. He says there's still a lot of waste, and he wants an in-depth look at ways to cut costs. But he he says it will take decades of fine-tuning to get America's health system right.

Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Don Manzullo says he had concerns about how the bill would affect the state budget. 

MANZULLO: This bill will add to the deficit of Illinois [by] $400 to $500 million a year.

The bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.