Federal Government Blocks Medicaid Bill

By WEEK Producer

July 18, 2011 Updated Jul 18, 2011 at 10:37 PM CDT

The Federal Government has blocked an attempt by the Illinois General Assembly to eliminate potential fraud in the state's Medicaid system.

Last year, the General Assembly passed a bipartisan bill which required Medicaid recipients to show they had low incomes and were residents of the state.

Those changes were to go into effect July first of this year.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services objected to the Illinois reform measures...and blocked them from taking effect.

"We think the reforms would generate almost 800 million dollars in extra financial strength for medicaid to take care of Illinois residents. That's why we were so surprised when the federal government over-rode the bipartisan reforms," Republican Senator Mark Kirk.

Kirk says there are two and a half million Illinois residents on Medicaid.

Around the nation, Medicaid mandates consume an average of 22 percent of state budgets, but in 2009, Medicaid comprised an estimated one-third of Illinois' state budget.

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