Yesterday, Illinois Republicans -- including Congressman Peter Roskam and House Minority Leader Tom Cross -- held a conference call with reporters in which they repeated the claim that the Democratic health care package, if passed by Congress, would add $2 billion to Illinois' Medicaid bill and "could cripple the state." As the Senate bill is currently written, that figure is more or less accurate. But it overlooks the fact that the Democrats plan to change the provision to better protect state budgets during the reconciliation process, as we wrote yesterday:
The president has proposed covering, for three years, 100 percent of the funding required to care for any newly-eligible Medicaid participants once reforms are implemented in 2014. Between 2017 and 2019, the reimbursement would drop to 95 percent. It would remain at 90 percent beginning in 2020. [...]
Illinois won't have to foot the bill for [the new Medicaid] patients between 2014 and 2017. In the subsequent three years, Illinois will pick up 5 percent of the tab. In other words, the state would pay just $724 million between 2014 and 2019 to insure roughly 5 percent of the state's entire population.