Days before his Illinois budget address, Gov. Pat Quinn called for cuts to Medicaid.
Quinn said changes must happen immediately so the Illinois health care system for low-income and poor residents doesn’t collapse under its own weight.
The state owes about $1.9 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills after Quinn suspended payments last year.
He proposes cutting $2.7 billion in Medicaid spending starting in July, including payment rates for doctors, pharmacies and hospitals.
The head of the Illinois Hospital Association says these Medicaid cuts could lead to the loss of 19,000 jobs.
Quinn’s administration is looking to find other alternatives such as limiting patients with glasses to one new pair each year and restraining hospital services such as weight loss surgery payments.