Local News

The insurance industry is handing out cash to lawmakers who will play pivotal roles in setting up Illinois' health-benefits exchange.

The exchange is supposed to make health insurance more affordable for consumers and small businesses. However, the Campaign for Better Health Care says it is likely the contributions will prompt the Illinois Health Benefits Exchange Legislative Study Committee to issue recommendations benefiting the insurance industry.

Democrats Frank Mautino and William Haine and Republicans JoAnn Osmond and Bill Brady are co-chairpersons of the committee.

Legislators have received a combined total of $70,800 from the insurance industry so far this year.

3 of the four co-chairs say contributions from the industry won't affect their decisions. Haine, an Alton Democrat, didn't return telephone calls.

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