Illinois doctors group wants Rauner to veto hepatitis C bill

CHICAGO (AP) - With three out of four Americans who are infected unaware they have hepatitis C, Illinois lawmakers last month approved a measure to fight what’s been called a silent epidemic.

The state’s largest doctors group is now urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to veto the bill that would require doctors to offer blood tests for the contagious liver disease to baby boomers - those born between 1945 and 1965. That’s been the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2012.

Doctors don’t need lawmakers telling them to follow guidelines, the Illinois State Medical Society insists.

The legislation “intrudes on the physician’s judgment and relationship with the patient, and doesn’t guarantee that patients who do test positive for this liver disease will have access to treatment, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars,” said Illinois State Medical Society President Dr. Scott Cooper.

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