Tri States Public Radio Staff
$2.7 Billion Cut Proposed
Tue April 10, 2012
Senator Anticipates Medicaid Cuts
State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) says everything is on the table when it comes reforming Medicaid in Illinois.
Governor Pat Quinn proposed a $2.7-billion dollar cut to the program in his budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Sullivan told a crowd of 50 during a town hall meeting in Hamilton that some savings can be found through the scaling back of programs and the elimination of waste and fraud.
He cites the federal government allowing one new pair of eyeglasses every two years when the state allows two pairs and out-of-state residents receiving benefits as examples.
The Senator says reaching $2.7-billion will require much more than that. He says lawmakers will have to address two key areas: changing eligibility requirements and reducing reimbursements for health care services.
Sullivan says the reduced reimbursements would be a final option because of the impact it would have on local facilities.
Sullivan says a small group of lawmakers assigned to study Medicaid has not reached a consensus on how to deal with the problem. He says some want to spread out the cuts over several years while others want to find the entire $2.7-billion this year.