Gov. Quinn Announces Health Care Cuts, Cigarette Tax Hike

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A combination of spending cuts and a new revenue generator will save Illinois' Medicaid system from collapse, according to Governor Pat Quinn.

Yesterday, Governor Quinn outlined his plan for $2.7 billion in reductions to the Medicaid program.  25% will come from a dollar-a-pack cigarette tax hike, which Governor Quinn says could generate $675 million for the state. Half of that comes from a 100% federal match for the increase. Governor Quinn also wants to reduce the rates the state pays hospitals and other healthcare providers by $675 million, which takes care of another 25% of the reductions.

50% will come from cuts, reductions, and efficiencies to 58 separate items totaling $1.35 billion. These include eliminating the prescription drug discount for seniors and sharply limiting eligibility for Medicaid, which means just over 215,000 people -- many seniors -- would be taken off the system.

It also includes a $237 million cut to nursing homes. In response to those specific cuts, a rally will take place at St. Anthony's Nursing and Rehabilitation, 767 30th Street, Rock Island at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 20th, 2012. The rally is hosted by the Health Care Council of Illinois (HCCI), which is traveling around the state, making 17 stops to raise awareness about the Governor's proposed cuts.

For more information on the HCCI, go to...