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Recoupments Passes Committee

Last night at 5:00pm I received a phone call from Blue Cross/Blue Shield requesting a meeting in the morning.  They had apparently garnered the support of the Retail Merchants Association, the Manufacturers, and a number of other groups to stand in opposition to us.  I left the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast early this morning to meet with the Dental Society regarding the conference call we were about to have.  The phone conversation was less than productive, but we couldn’t give the opponents the opportunity to say that we wouldn’t even meet with them.

Minutes before Senate Executive met, we received new language from the Blues.  They had done their own count and realized that thanks to our Statehouse efforts and the outreach by our members we had secured enough votes.  To our surprise, the suggested language looks like it might fairly address both of our concerns.  We presented our case to the committee and told them that there was a possible amendment on the way that would remove much of the opposition.  We made no promises, but said that we would make a good faith effort to come to an agreement.  The Senators respected our position and voted unanimously to let our bill be heard on the full Senate floor.

If we can come to an agreement with the Blues, a number of the other business groups would drop their opposition as well.  Although we have a chance of passing the bill without amending it at all, if we can get agreement now it reduces the risk of having the Insurance Companies bringing this issue back to the Statehouse for the next several years.

Now I have a legislative event to attend from 5:30-8:30, and perhaps I’ll get some celebratory icecream after that.  Today was a good day for health care providers in Illinois.

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