THERE ARE three components of Quinn’s plan: a $1 a pack increase in the cigarette tax, an across the board cut to Medicaid providers of $625 million, and 58 line item cuts that total up to $1.35 billion.
CUTS TO providers could “jeopardize access to care” and “bear the brunt of costs” on healthcare facilities such as UIC’s, argues Larry Joseph, the fiscal policy director for Voices for Children Illinois.
PRIVATE HEALTHCARE practitioners can refuse to treat Medicaid patients, and more are likely to do so with lower State Medicaid reimbursements. Public healthcare facilities such as UIC’s, though, cannot legally deny patients. So less money from the State could lead to a number of collateral issues, including healthcare facilities passing on the costs to all their patients, and also laying off staff, according to the Campaign for Better Health Care.
THE LINE item cuts include reductions in preventive care services like an Illinois Cares RX program for prescription drugs and also adult dental services.
Editor’s note: The above article is from Matthew Blake, Progress Illinois. For an alternative to the State’s plan for Medicaid cuts, see “Safety-net hospital group proposes alternatives to Illinois Medicaid cuts,” Gazette, May 4, 2012: www.gazettechicago.com.