ILLINOIS: Governor Pat Quinn presented a fiscal year 2013 budget proposal last week that seeks to strengthen the pension systems, restructure the state’s Medicaid system, rebalance institutional living/community care, increase efficiencies across state agencies and stimulate job growth. Health care represents about 30 percent of the entire operating budget with $14.7 billion budgeted for the medical assistance program (Medicaid and CHIP). The governor called for most state agencies to reduce spending by approximately 9 percent, and he proposed closure and consolidation of over 50 state facilities.
The governor also wants to achieve $2.7 billion in Medicaid cost savings, to be achieved through possible changes in Medicaid eligibility. The administration is looking at reducing All Kids program eligibility to 200 percent from 300 percent of the federal poverty level; reducing Family Care Adults eligibility to 133 percent from 185 percent of FPL; and eliminating state-only programs. Other possibilities include the elimination of optional services, utilization controls to better manage use of services, cost-sharing by clients, rate reductions for all providers, and the accelerated use of managed care for Medicare and restructuring waivered programs. In the coming weeks, members of the General Assembly will conduct hearings and ultimately pass a final budget for the governor’s signature prior to the May 31 adjournment date. Given the magnitude of the state’s $8 billion debt, making the deadline will be a difficult task during an election year. The debt has remained unchanged despite the record $7 billion tax increase passed last session.