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Il: Poor Healthcare for Low-income Drops State Ranking

Illinois ranks 36th in the country when it comes to delivering healthcare services to low-income residents.

A new Commonwealth Fund study looked at how states performed on healthcare coverage, prevention and treatment for low-income people and found Illinois ranks 36th in the country.

Leota Trull struggles with a number of health problems.

 "I have COPD, I have a messed up leg and a knee that I'm getting ready to have surgery on and I have some problems with my back."

 Trull is on disability and says she can't afford to get the healthcare she needs like getting her scooter fixed, getting dentures and glasses.

"But, I can't get them. Medicare and Medicaid don't pay for adults, period, I guess."

 To Trull, Illinois' ranking is no surprise.

 "Illinois doesn't look out for the people that's disabled, the mothers with children that need help. They discriminate against all of us."

 The Commonwealth Fund report looks at 30-health indicators and finds areas where states could improve access to healthcare, how it's provided and the health outcomes for low-income residents.

 "Maybe it's not their fault that they can't afford it. There's a lot of poverty out here. A lot of poverty."

 Tom Hughes, with the Illinois Public Health Association, says the state is looking at ways to improve the system, but isn't in a position to do so right now.

 "We're in a situation in which we struggle with how to provide the services that we know we need to provide. I don't think anyone wants to see people do without. There are legitimate needs out there."

 Hughes says the state's low ranking is directly related to the state's economy. "I don't think that until we have a growing steady economy and people are back to work, I don't think these problems are going to be ones that go away quickly."

 The study suggests states should improve the overall health of these low-income residents to save on healthcare costs in the future.

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