Quinn wants to cut $2 billion from Medicaid budget

February 7, 2012

The Associated Press

(WBEZ/file)

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois must cut its Medicaid budget by $2 billion to help solve the state's fiscal woes.

The Democrat offered no details Tuesday on how the goal would be accomplished.

Some options are shrinking payments to doctors, cutting benefits and reducing how many people are eligible for the health care program covering 2.7 million poor and disabled Illinoisans.

Illinois' Medicaid budget is about $14 billion. The state contribution is around $8.6 billion.

However, the state has paid some costs out of future budgets, and there's a buildup of late payments. The backlog of unpaid Medicaid bills is expected to reach $1.8 billion by fiscal year's end.

Quinn's budget address is Feb. 22. He says he wants to tackle restructuring Medicaid and pension reform this year.