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Illinois legislature eliminates health care co-pays for incarcerated people—but governor vetoes measure.

After Illinois lawmakers voted in Spring 2018 to eliminate the $5 co-pay for people in its adult or juvenile prisons for non-emergency medical and dental services, Governor Bruce Rauner used his amendatory veto power to indicate that he would sign the bill into law only if legislators did not eliminate the co-pay—although he stated he would accept a reduction in the amount from $5 to $3.90.Illinois HB 5104 (2018); and Amendatory Veto of HB 5104, August 21, 2018. The governor cited balancing “the need to provide medical services with potential abuses of a free medical system that could create significant backlogs in an already overburdened Corrections healthcare system.”Amendatory Veto of HB 5104, 2018. Even a small co-pay, however, burdens incarcerated people: the vast majority of people in Illinois prisons make between $0.09 and $0.30 an hour.Wendy Sawyer, “How Much Do Incarcerated People Earn in Each State?” Prison Policy Initiative, April 10, 2017. In November, the state House of Representatives passed an override resolution to the governor’s veto but, in the absence of Senate action, the bill died.Illinois HB 5104 (2018).