WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Medicaid

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - Macomb

Aug 30, 2017

NPR Illinois and Tri States Public Radio host the seventh Illinois Issues Forum on the state's financial health and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long state budget impasse.

State Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mt. Pleasant) believes Iowa's Medicaid system is failing because of the decision to privatize it and that it could take federal intervention to save it.

Your Health Insurance: Knowledge is Power

Feb 25, 2016

I'm here today to talk about health insurance. No, not what makes the news -whether to repeal the ACA, cutting Medicare and Medicaid,  going to Canada or another country for prescription drugs or procedures.  What I want to talk about is the importance of  knowing the details of your own individual health insurance policy.

Iowa's plan to privatize Medicaid has received the go-ahead from the federal government. The state announced Tuesday afternoon that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) signed off on an implementation date of April 1, 2016.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

It’s been about 18 months since the EagleView dental clinic in Macomb closed. Since then, Medicaid recipients have been without a dental provider in McDonough County.

The Illinois House has voted to undo a series of cuts in the state's program of health care for the poor. Backers of the change say the cuts have come with a significant cost.

 Two years ago, Democrats and Republicans agreed to massive reductions in the Medicaid program, with savings estimated at greater than $2 billion. Now Democrats say some of those cuts are costing more than they're worth.

For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.

Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.

But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Cuts Could Hurt Children

Mar 8, 2014

A children's advocacy group says the biggest hurdle low-income kids in Illinois have to overcome is actually one of the government's making.

Rep. Loebsack Writes 2nd Hospital Letter

Dec 30, 2012

Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA2) is once again pushing for the Obama Administration to help Keokuk Area Hospital with its financial challenges.

All the yakking about a fiscal cliff seems to fall somewhere between mistaken Mayan prophecies about Doomsday and hypersonic skydiving from space.

The lame-duck 112th Congress – hamstrung by Tea Party Republicans in the House and filibuster-happy Republicans in the Senate – is proposing to Democratic President Barack Obama that Social Security, Medicare and other social services be cut. Meanwhile, the Economic Policy Institute has released a report with a solution: Cut the deficit by growing the economy.

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) is helping in the effort to secure a key designation for Keokuk Area Hospital.

He sent a two-page letter, earlier this week, to the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In it, the Congressman wrote of his support for the hospital’s appeal of the agency’s denial of Critical Access status for the facility.

CEO Wally Winkler says receiving that designation would help the hospital through some very difficult financial times.

Schock Says Provision Prevents Medicaid Reform

May 14, 2012

Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18) says a provision of the Affordable Care Act prevents Illinois from enacting serious Medicaid reform. That provision prevents states from reducing benefits or tightening requirements to qualify for Medicaid.

The House has passed a measure to repeal that provision.

Schock says, “They (federal government) have Illinois trapped right now in a situation where they can't reduce their budget deficit, reduce their spending.”

Illinois lawmakers are heading into the home stretch of their 2012 session. But they still need to approve a budget before they can adjourn.

They've been working for months to try figuring out how  they can cut two of the state's biggest expenses:  pensions  and Medicaid.

Some lawmakers are not pleased with the pace.

"Well, why would you be concerned? We've got two and a half weeks left.  We've got all the time in the world to fix our problems here in the state of Illinois,” remarked Representative Joe Lyons (D-Chicago).

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said it's time for state lawmakers to "step forward" and rescue the state's Medicaid system, even if requires some painful decisions.

The Democratic governor wants lawmakers to approve his plan for filling a $2.7 billion hole in the system. It includes reducing services for the poor, cutting payments to health-care providers, and raising cigarette taxes by $1 a pack.

State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) says everything is on the table when it comes reforming Medicaid in Illinois.

Governor Pat Quinn proposed a $2.7-billion dollar cut to the program in his budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. 

Sullivan told a crowd of 50 during a town hall meeting in Hamilton that some savings can be found through the scaling back of programs and the elimination of waste and fraud.

State Representative Norine Hammond says Illinois could save about half the Medicaid money the governor targeted in his budget address.

Governor Pat Quinn wants to cut $2.7 billion from Medicaid spending for next fiscal year.

Hammond said Quinn signed a bill into law  about a year ago that tightened Medicaid eligibility requirements. The changes never took effect because the state needed a federal waiver first. The waiver request was denied.

State Faces Hard Choices for Budget Reform

Feb 22, 2012

In his budget address, Governor Pat Quinn, said three-quarters of Illinois'  pension burden is for people who don't work for the state. It covers some of the pension costs for teachers and others who are employees of local government bodies.

State Senator John Sullivan (D-47)  said the state must bring all the stakeholders to the negotiating table to find a long-term solution to funding pensions.

Illinois legislators face more bad budget news. 

A report from Chicago's Civic Federation said the massive backlog of unpaid bills is about to get much worse.

Illinois is expected to owe more than $9 billion by this summer. The figure is expected to continue rising and could hit nearly $35 billion within five years.

Civic Federation president Laurence Msall said the state must  act quickly.

Emphasis - January 13

Jan 13, 2012

Rich Egger's guest is State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb). They preview the Illinois legislature's 2012 session.

Lawmakers do not return to Springfield until January 30, which is later than normal. Hammond believes the legal battle over redistricting is part of the reason for the delay.

Hammond said the legislature must work to stabilize its finances. She pointed out Moody's lowered the state's credit rating late last week and Standard & Poor's has the state on a watch list.