CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois state Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) has decided to withdraw proposed legislation under which those willfully unvaccinated against COVID-19 would have had to pay for their health care expenses out of their own pockets if they'd ended up hospitalized.
"Due to the unintended divisive nature of HB4259, I've decided not to pursue this legislation. Based on feedback and further reflection, we need to heal as a country and work together on common-sense solutions to put the pandemic behind us," Carroll said in a statement on Twitter.
Carroll also denounced threats he had received following the announcement of the legislation.
'Since taking office, I've always tried to have civil discourse with those who've disagreed with me. However, violent threats made against me, my family and my staff are reprehensible," he wrote in the statement. "I hope we can return to a more positive discourse on public health, especially when it comes to this pandemic that has tired us all."
HB 4259 would have required that "a person who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and chooses not to be vaccinated shall pay for health care expenses out-of-pocket if the person becomes hospitalized because of COVID-19 symptoms."
Carroll told WBBM Newsradio that those who have been "following the science" and "trying to do the right thing" have been frustrated by those who are able to get vaccinated, but choose not to.
"I think it's time that we say. 'You choose not to get vaccinated, then you're also going to assume the risk that if you do catch COVID, and you get sick, the responsibility is on you,'" Carroll told WBBM Newsradio on Tuesday.
The station reported that state Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) said in a statement in regard to the legislation that he is against "taking health care away from Illinoisans."
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