Medicaid funding on the state's chopping block

By WEEK Producer

May 21, 2012 Updated May 21, 2012 at 10:17 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- There are now two proposals to cut Medicaid spending in Illinois. A proposal the Governor likes was introduced today, and would cut Medicaid payments to some hospitals.

However, rural and about 20 "safety-net hospitals," which have many poor patients would keep current funding, and another part of the proposal, the dollar-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes, would be taken up separately.

Senator Darrin LaHood is backing the Illinois Policy Institute plan, which would cut Medicaid funding without cutting rates or raising tobacco taxes.

The Policy Institute's CEO, John Tillman, says strict enforcement of Medicaid eligibility, increasing the use of generic drugs and better case management are solutions which have proven themselves in other states.

Tillman said, "These are difficult proposals to institute in other states, but other states gave already shown the way. It's easier for Illinois to lead by following the best practices of other states. The other states have already done the hard work, they've taken these programs on, they've implemented them and they're seeing the savings we're talking about."

Meanwhile, Governor Quinn seemed to reject the idea of having slot machines at Illinois racetracks. That's part of a expansion of gaming, which some Illinois General Assembly members are pushing as a way to close the state's budget gap.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.