by Jonathan Ingram
Earlier this year, Gov. Quinn
and lawmakers agreed to reduce Medicaid spending by $2.7 billion. The
Institute previously offered lawmakers a roadmap to $2.7 billion in Medicaid reforms.
this week, lawmakers pushed an overall reform package that fails to
live up to the promises made to taxpayers. This package includes just
$1.6 billion in savings, the early implementation of ObamaCare and
spends nearly $1 billion in new taxes and revenue.
- SB 2840
makes a number of changes to the Medicaid program, worth an estimated
$1.6 billion, including a 3.5 percent rate cut to hospitals. The bill
passed the House 94-22 and passed the Senate 44-13. This falls far short of the $2.7 billion in savings promised by Gov. Quinn and lawmakers.
- HB 5007 implements ObamaCare ahead of schedule.
It permits the Governor to move forward with his plan to implement
ObamaCare's massive expansion of Medicaid nearly two years early in Cook
County, adding approximately 250,000 people to the Medicaid rolls. The
bill passed the House 62-55 and passed the Senate 35-22. Supporters of Gov. Quinn's plan included 5 Senate Republicans and 11 House Republicans.
this reform package endorses a permanent income tax hike by keeping
Medicaid spending at unaffordable levels and relying on temporary tax
dollars to finance it. This does not clear the path for the repeal or
eventual sunset of the 2011 income tax hike. Worst of all, the reform
package fails to fix the actual problems with the state's Medicaid
program by leaving in place a broken system where spending will continue
to rise faster than revenues.
- SB 2194
imposes new taxes on tobacco products and hospitals. This bill
increases cigarette taxes by $1-per-pack, imposes taxes on
"roll-your-own" tobacco products and increases hospital assessment
taxes. The bill passed the House 60-52. The tax hike was supported by 18 Republicans and 42 Democrats. The bill is expected to be heard in the Senate early next week.