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IL lawmakers looking for best of bad choices to cut Medicaid

Fri, 18 May 2012 09:53:29 CDT

As the state considers massive cuts to health care for the poor, dozens of medical groups are urging legislators to spare their programs. The case of hospice workers illustrates just how difficult deciding what to cut will be. Governor Pat Quinn has recommended cutting 10 percent of what the state spends on hospice and in-home medical services through Medicaid. But Jan Grimes, of the Illinois HomeCare and Hospice Council, says in the long run, such cuts would COST more than they'd SAVE:


"When you are sick enough to be home-bound, then if nobody is check up on you and something begins to slide, you end up in an expensive hospital emergency room or nursing home."

Grimes says legislators are more focused on making cuts than finding the best policy. But Representative Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat who has long supported health care for the poor, says every group facing cuts wants its program spared on policy grounds:


"Every decision we are going to make is probably bad in some way, shape or form. The decision we have to make is which is the least worst of all the options."

Harris says he thinks legislation outlining the cuts will begin to move next week.

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