News Local/State

Quinn Signs Illinois Medicaid Cuts Restoration


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to restore Medicaid cuts made two years along with other changes. 

The Chicago Democrat signed the bill Monday at a Chicago hospital. In 2012, funding for adult dental and podiatry services was cut to save money. Quinn says the new law was the result of a long negotiation and will modernize Medicaid.

Quinn says Illinois needs an integrated system - that focuses on "wellness."

"We want to make sure that we prevent bad things, whenever possible, so people are not having to pay enormous amounts of money to deal with life threatening diseases, and chronic ailments that we could have dealt with earlier," he said.

Republicans have expressed concerns about sustaining services during a difficult budget year.

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago sponsored the bill. He says the cuts didn't save the state money because people wound up in the emergency room, where care is more expensive. 

The changes take effect over four years. 

Medicaid is a state and federal program that pays medical expenses for the poor and disabled.