State Rep. Bob Flider (D-Mount Zion) is calling on the Senate to approve a measure that he passed out of the House last April requiring Illinois to pay bills owed to health service providers within 30 days.
Flider also recently introduced reform legislation requiring the state to reimburse pharmacists that fill prescriptions under the Governor Blagojevich’s unlawful health care expansion, according to a press release from Flider's office.
“Currently, doctors, health care specialists and other service providers are being stiffed on bills owed by the State of Illinois because the Blagojevich administration is not paying the state’s bills on time or in some cases not paying them at all,” Flider said.
“As our state continues to grapple with his legacy of fiscal mismanagement created by an estimated $4 billion in unpaid bills to service providers, I implore the Senate to vote on and pass this vital legislation that would force the governor to provide some much-needed accountability to Illinois’ taxpayers.”A major reform contained in House Bill 5898 would be to prohibit the governor from creating new programs until he develops a plan to pay off the existing backlog of bills. This legislation also aims to shorten the current payment cycle to 30 days and increase interest payments paid to providers when the state is late in providing reimbursements.
“With our country in the midst of an economic calamity, businesses are struggling to survive, and the state is making matters worse for them rather than better,” Flider added. “I encourage the Senate leadership to do the right thing and allow the Senate to vote on and pass
this important legislation.” In addition to the this reform legislation, Flider recently introduced House Bill 6726, which would require the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to reimburse pharmacists for providing prescription drugs to individuals receiving medical assistance under the governor’s unlawful health care expansion. Recent media reports have documented that under Blagojevich’s unlawful health care expansion, prescription drug providers have been asked to fill patients’prescriptions without receiving reimbursement from the state. “I applaud Representative Flider for introducing legislation that reforms the state’s practice of forcing pharmacists to fill prescriptions for individuals receiving care under FamilyCare,” said Terry Traster, owner of Moweaqua Pharmacy.
“Small business owners like myself have incurred huge loses when we have been forced to foot the bill for providing services for the governor’s health care program, while we have not been reimbursed by the state,” said Traster.
House Bill 5898 is supported by the Illinois Taxpayers Federation, Illinois State Medical Society, the Illinois Homecare Council and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
The measure passed the House, but was never called for a vote in the Senate. House Bill 6726 was introduced in the House earlier this month and now awaits action in the House Rules Committee.