The debate over health care is picking up steam as we move closer to the fall election. A report by a health care advocacy group says over the next decade, Illinois could lose 94-billion dollars in federal funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and premium tax credits under the most recent Republican budget proposal.
Families USA director Ron Pollack says states will be left to deal with the effects of the cuts. He says they'll force seniors to pay thousands more for Medicare coverage "while taking away their ability to afford needed medicines." Pollack says the elimination of efforts to close the so-called “doughnut hole” in prescription coverage will cost the average Medicare recipient in Illinois 670 dollars a year. But Congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican from Peoria, says the report is alarmist because no one older than 55 would be affected by initial cuts. Schock says Illinois will be hurt MORE if nothing is done to reform Medicaid: he cites a report by the Civic Federation that says the state will face a 35-billion dollar Medicaid backlog if nothing changes.
Schock was one a number of Republican Congressmen who spent time last week pushing for the repeal of the federal “Affordable Care Act.”
The Families USA report, including state by state breakdowns, can be found at http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/budget-battle/Republican-Budget-Slashes-Health-Programs.pdf