Gov. Pat Quinn laid out a plan yesterday to meet his self-imposed goal of $2.7 billion in Medicaid savings through cuts in programs and a $1-a-pack cigarette tax increase. The $2.7 billion figure includes federal matching funds for Medicaid, so the state saves closer to $1.4 billion from the governor's proposal. This includes $337 million in projected revenue from the cigarette tax hike.
State Rep. Mary Flowers, (D-Chicago) and chair of the House Committee on Health Care Access and Availability, questioned whether short-term savings might result in long-term costs, thanks to cuts in preventive programs.
The state legislature must approve Quinn's proposal, or a version thereof, in the state's yearly budget. If passed, the cuts would go into effect July 1, the start of the state's fiscal year.