SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTHI) - Illinois looks to repair the deficit created by their Medicaid program, but that means slashing the budget for the state funded program.
In the last ten years the number of Medicaid patients in Illinois has doubled. With the state and the program in dire financial straits, Governor Pat Quinn signed major cuts to the state funded health care program.
The law cuts 1.6 billion dollars from the Illinois Medicaid program. That means twenty-five thousand working parents will lose their health coverage starting July 1st. But, it also means major cuts across the board for those who will still have the healthcare.
Some of the major cuts:
-The law eliminates regular dental care for those on the program.
-Eye glasses will be limited to one pair every two years.
-The state will no longer cover chiropractic services.
-Illinois will cut payments to hospital and nursing homes.
-Cuts state's prescription drug program for low income elderly.
Along with the cuts to Medicaid, the state also signed a law raising the tax on cigarettes one dollar per pack to add funding to the program.
Lawmakers say with the matching federal funds, the cigarette tax will bring in around 700-million dollars for the budget.
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