A court hearing scheduled Tuesday has the potential to shake up the precarious financial situation in Illinois. Organizations that run the state’s Medicaid program want a federal judge to speed up their payments.
The state already owes money to a variety of organizations due to the budget impasse, but Medicaid providers want a federal judge to put them at the front of the line. Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Illinois already spends heavily on Medicaid, and letting those groups cut in line means Illinois would soon run out of money.
"We'll have to go to the courts and ask them: 'OK, out of all of these court-mandated payments, which ones am I allowed to violate?'" she said.
That could jeopardize other payments, such as paychecks for state workers. The Medicaid providers say that argument shows Illinois is not making their payments a priority.