(Story updated at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 23.)
Illinois healthcare providers ripped Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to cut $2.7 billion from the state's Medicaid program.
Quinn didn't say where exactly those cuts would come from during his fiscal 2013 budget speech. He did say that last year state legislators couldn't cover the cost of Medicaid in Illinois, falling short by $1.9 billion. He added that Illinois is the only state that “intentionally kicks its current Medicaid bills into future fiscal years,” and that the practice needed to cease. He cited a report by the Civic Federation, a Chicago-based government watchdog, finding that the state would have $21 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills by 2017 if general fund appropriations for Medicaid increase 2% annually.
“I have the utmost respect for the doctors, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmacists who provide care under the Illinois Medicaid program, often under very challenging circumstances,” Quinn said. “But it is respect for these providers that motivates me to act to save the entire program from collapse.”