Friday, April 20, 2012

Governor Quinn's Proposed Medicaid Cuts

Author: Sara Feigenholtz
Title: Governor Quinn's Proposed Medicaid Cuts
Publication:  Sara Feigenholtz Email Newsletter
Date Published: April 20, 2012

Dear Neighbor:

I am one of four members of a bipartisan legislative committee tasked with finding ways to reduce the state's Medicaid liability. I remain committed to the goal of ensuring that vital services are available to those who need it and that care is delivered efficiently and cost-effectively. Facing a $2.7 billion Medicaid budget hole, we risk a complete collapse of the system unless we enact reforms.

On Thursday, Governor Quinn released his plan to reduce the state's Medicaid liability by $2.7 billion. The plan proposes a $1 per pack cigarette tax that his office estimates would bring in $675 million in revenue; this includes a 100% federal match. His plan also eliminates some optional services, cuts reimbursement rates to providers, increases cost-sharing measures, limits access to some services, and eliminates fraudulent and wasteful use of the system.

Some highlights of Governor Quinn's proposed Medicaid cuts and reductions include:

• Reducing adult eligibility to 133% of the federal poverty level for the Illinois FamilyCare program that offers healthcare coverage to parents living with their children 18 years old or younger
• Eliminating Illinois Cares Rx, which provides prescription drug assistance to low-income seniors and disabled persons
• Limiting adult eyeglass eligibility to one pair every two years
• Providing adult podiatry coverage only to diabetics • Eliminating group psychotherapy for nursing home residents
• Eliminating adult dental coverage and new dental grants
• Limiting prescription drug medications to five per month for adults and children

A full list of his proposed cuts, reductions, and efficiencies along with the gross savings and estimated number of clients impacted can be found here.

You can also read the Chicago Sun Times' endorsement of the plan here and the Chicago Tribune's endorsement of the plan here.

These decisions are far from easy, and we realize the very real impact that many of these changes could have on the lives of Illinoisans. I welcome all of your feedback and thoughts as the legislature considers the Governor's proposals and continues to develop our own plan for making Medicaid more efficient.

Very truly yours,

Sara Feigenholtz State
Representative 12th District

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