Mental health centers were devastated during the Illinois extended budget stalemate. However, the state is working to expand behavioral health services to people who can’t afford them.  

Dr. Cari Wolf says Illinois is where Texas used to be.

“It was common to have people experiencing a mental health crisis languish in ERs for days. Law enforcement spent hours responding to mental health crises and trying desperately to link people with services.”

"stethoscope" by flickr use rosmary (CC BY 2.0)

The state of Illinois is seeking permission from the federal government to use Medicaid funding to pay for mental health and substance abuse services that usually aren't covered under the health insurance program for those living in poverty.

The Southern Illinoisan reports that Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is seeking a five-year waiver from certain Medicaid rules as part of its proposed "health and human services transformation."

Governor Bruce Rauner has created a task force charged with finding fraud in taxpayer-funded health care programs.

The Republican today used his executive authority to form the group. It'll seek ways to prevent waste in state- and federally funded Medicaid ... the state employee's health insurance ... and even costs of caring for inmates in Illinois prisons.

Rauner says the cost of state-run health care programs increases when no one watches to stop abuse and fraud.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will outline a plan to get Illinois out from under court-ordered spending that's plunging the state further into debt during a seven-month budget stalemate.


The Republican was speaking in an interview with The Associated Press marking his first year in office Tuesday. The Legislature begins its spring term Wednesday.

Even without a budget, the state has been required to continue spending on things such as Medicaid because of federal consent decrees and court orders.

Flickr user / Images Money "Healthcare Costs" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration is not yet saying whether it plans to fund Medicaid providers outside Cook County. That question remained after a federal judge ordered the state to pay providers in Cook County while the budget impasse at the Statehouse continues.

A decade-old court order was used as a vehicle to sue state government and force Medicaid payments to Cook County hospitals and doctors.

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans says she hopes Gov. Rauner, a Republican, expands that ruling to Medicaid providers all across the state.