Illinois Medicaid officials say they're reviewing new federal guidelines that would let states require "able-bodied" Medicaid recipients to work.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services said Thursday that the "policy notice and its implications are under review." The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made the announcement Thursday. The agency's head, Seema Verma, said work and community involvement can make a positive difference in people's lives and in their health.


Attorneys in a lawsuit over $2 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills say court-ordered talks to resolve the issue haven't made progress. 

They're asking a judge to order Illinois to start paying $1 billion a month as it heads into a third year without a budget.

The request in a Tuesday filing in Chicago federal court comes three weeks after Judge Joan Lefkow ruled Illinois isn't in compliance with previous orders to pay health care bills. She also told the sides to work out a deal on a level of payment ensuring critical medical care for the most vulnerable.

A federal judge has ordered the State of Illinois to speed up required payments to Medicaid providers during its budget impasse.

In her ruling yesterday, Judge Joan Lefkow says their request to pay Medicaid faster is reasonable, but she stopped short of saying how the state should find the money. Instead, she ordered the state and attorneys for Medicaid providers to figure something out themselves in the next two weeks. If they fail to reach a solution, the two parties will be due back in court.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he no longer supports expanding abortion coverage for state workers and Medicaid recipients because it's too controversial, and Illinois needs to focus on other issues such as creating jobs.

The new Republican health care legislation in Congress could cost Illinois $40 billion dollars in federal funding over the next decade. That’s according to the recent report by the Congressional Budget Office.

Illinois’ health care exchange has not been the success Obamacare proponents were hoping for. Insurance companies have struggled to find customers.

But hospitals say the expansion of Medicaid has been huge for Illinois. It’s given 600,000 people access to healthcare, so far paid in full by the federal government.