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Blagojevich signs veterans health care bill into law

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Gov. Rod Blagojevich (UPI file photo)

By AP/KWMU

Chicago, Ill. – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law on Sunday a measure designed to help more than 9,000 veterans affordable health care when they cannot get federal benefits.

The "Veterans Care" program is aimed at veterans who earn too much to qualify for Veterans Administration health care but can't afford to buy coverage for themselves. The Legislature passed the bill earlier with month. With the governor's signature, it takes effect immediately.

"It's not a fair deal when you can serve your country in the military, when you can go to a place and put your life and liberty on the line, you can fight our wars and then you come back home only to discover that you can't afford to see the doctor," Blagojevich said before signing the bill Sunday in Chicago.

Veterans must be between 19 and 64 years old, have been uninsured for the past six months, and be ineligible for other federal veterans and state health-care programs to qualify for the state-run program. They must also be willing to pay a $40 monthly premium, as well as doctor visit and prescription co-payments.

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