Gov. Rod Blagojevich is proposing to make Illinois the first state to offer health insurance coverage for all children, including 250,000 who now lack any such benefits.
Blagojevich planned to propose his "All Kids" program Thursday. The plan, which has the endorsement of Democratic legislative leaders, would target children in families that earn too little for private coverage but too much to qualify for existing state-funded programs.
The Democratic governor would pay for the program by revamping state health programs to cut expenses, the AP reports.
David Rousseau, a senior policy analyst for the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C., said he believed Blagojevich's new program would be the first of its kind. The foundation recently found that Illinois had the second-best record in the nation for adding children to health care programs. AM