The top Republicans in the Illinois Legislature say they won't go along with Gov. Pat Quinn's call for higher cigarette taxes to help the state's struggling Medicaid program. House Minority Leader Tom Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno oppose ``any tax increase to solve our Medicaid crisis.'' They noted that the Democratic governor said in his budget address that the state needs to reduce Medicaid expenditures and didn't mention a tax increase. Cross and Radogno said they'll hold Quinn to his word.
Quinn is offering a plan for closing a $2.7 billion hole in Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor. His proposal includes removing 215,000 from the program, cutting many services, reducing payments to providers and raising cigarette taxes by $1 a pack.
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