Medicaid

cbo.gov

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.

Illinois state lawmakers are planning to assess how Medicaid cuts proposed by President Donald Trump's administration could impact vulnerable residents.

House Speaker Michael Madigan earlier this week asked Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago to hold a hearing Thursday morning on what the changes could mean for Illinois. Harris chairs the Appropriations-Human Services Committee.

Madigan on Wednesday estimated that 1 in 4 Illinoisans would be impacted by congressional Republicans' plans to alter the Medicaid system by providing a set lump sum payment to states.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is seeking to offer more Medicaid services through managed-care programs.

Rauner and two cabinet members announced the plan in Chicago Monday. It involves choosing a vendor that'll provide managed-care services to 80 percent of Medicaid clients.

That's up from 65 percent now. It'll also be expanded to all Illinois counties and children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said he doesn't support a repeal of Obamacare without a replacement.

It’s a rare comment from a governor who has stayed away from saying anything in public about national politics. But, as Republicans in Congress debate the issue with President-Elect Donald Trump, Rauner says he doesn’t support a simple repeal.

“I don’t think it works very well to just take it away and have nothing to replace it with," he said. "I don’t think that works.”

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.”

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