KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Governor of Illinois Urges Medicaid Cuts

Pat Quinn, the Democratic governor, underscored the need for cuts to Medicaid and the state worker pension system, but some critics said his proposals did not offer enough specifics about how to reduce the state’s underfinanced liabilities.

Chicago Tribune: Quinn Asks Lawmakers To Put Some Skin In The Game On Pension, Health Care Cuts
The Democratic chief executive enumerated the long-standing challenges: too much money is spent on public worker pensions and health care for the poor, and too many loopholes have been carved into the state's tax code for businesses. Instead of spelling out specific solutions, however, Quinn suggested that the state wait for task forces to complete their work (Garcia, Long and Groeninger, 2/22).

Chicago Sun-Times: Gov. Pat Quinn On Pension Mess: 'Everything Is On The Table'
Quinn also addressed the need to cut state spending on Medicaid services for low-income Illinoisans and pension costs for state workers and teachers. … With Medicaid, the program that provides health care to 2.7 million low-income Illinoisans, Quinn warned of the program's potential "collapse" without action. "In order to reduce cost pressures, we need to reconsider the groups who are eligible for Medicaid, the services we cover under the program, the utilization of these services and the way and amount we pay them," he said. Another bi-partisan working group of legislators has Quinn's backing to offer up cuts to Medicaid, but the governor did not attach any sort of deadline to their endeavor (McKinney and Maloney, 2/22).

The New York Times: New Spending Plan Means New Round Of Pain For Illinois
Despite an income tax increase in Illinois last year, Gov. Pat Quinn delivered more grim news about the state’s fiscal crisis on Wednesday. … It has, it seems, been coming for a while, as the state’s unpaid bills have mounted and reports of its underfinanced state pension and Medicaid systems have grown ever more alarming. But while the governor spoke about the need for cuts in the Medicaid and pension systems, some critics said his proposals did not go far enough or provide specific steps to reduce the state’s unfinanced liabilities (Yaccino, 2/22).

The Wall Street Journal: Governor Of Illinois Urges Cuts To Medicaid
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn pressed for cuts to Medicaid spending and major pension changes in an annual budget speech that underlined the huge challenges facing one of the country's most indebted states. Speaking Wednesday to the state legislature, Mr. Quinn, a Democrat, portrayed his prescriptions as the type of painful medicine that lawmakers have long failed to accept (Dean and Packowitz, 2/23).

Modern Healthcare: Providers Assail Proposed $2.7 Billion In Illinois Medicaid Cuts
Illinois healthcare providers ripped Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to cut $2.7 billion from the state's Medicaid program. Quinn didn't say where exactly those cuts would come from during his fiscal 2013 budget speech. He did say that last year state legislators couldn't cover the cost of Medicaid in Illinois, falling short by $1.9 billion (Selvam, 2/22).

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