Like other states, Illinois is deciding how to handle a major component of the Affordable Care Act; who's eligible for Medicaid. The federal government will reimburse states if they expand health coverage to poor adults who don't have kids. A wide spectrum of health care advocates say Illinois should do it, and even the state Chamber of Commerce is in favor. Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services Director Julie Hamos says time is of the essence:
"We have a lengthy list of items that we need to do to do it well. We need to make sure that our eligibility systems are in place. We have to make sure that we are ready to roll this out with the managed care companies that we expect to enroll these newly eligible into. We have to even figure out what the actuarial cost will be to pay the managed care companies because these are people we don't have medical histories on."
Legislators didn't pass Medicaid expansion in the last session, and it appears little has changed as a new session begins. Republicans are opposed because they don't trust the federal government to uphold its promise to pay.
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