Online Staff Report
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — May 27, the Illinois House of Representatives advanced legislation that would expand Medicaid coverage as part of Obamacare implementation in Illinois. State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Belvidere, who voted against the proposal, says expanding Medicaid in Illinois would be a mistake.
“Expanding Medicaid in Illinois at this time is irresponsible and will only lead to more budget problems down the road,” said Sosnowski. “Over the past decade, Illinois’ Medicaid costs have more than doubled, and now account for one-third of the general revenue funds. We have the highest budget deficit in the nation and are on track to end the year with $7.5 billion in unpaid bills. This is simply an addition that we cannot afford.”
Last year, the General Assembly voted to scale back the Medicaid program because it was on the brink of collapse. A recent report from the independent contractor hired to review the program found that of 73,000 Medicaid cases, approximately 48,000, are not legally eligible and should be removed from the program.
“We’ve only begun to scratch the surface,” Sosnowski said. “A year ago, we made structural changes to Medicaid in order to ensure that our most vulnerable continue to receive the care they need. Today, we took a step backward. We cannot rush into expanding a program that is clearly failing the taxpayers of Illinois.”
Senate Bill 26 passed by a vote of 63-55.
Posted May 28, 2013