The governor wants to expand Medicaid in Cook County to comply with national healthcare overhaul standards, but state Republicans want him to look before he leaps. State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) says the Department of Healthcare and Family Services wants to add 100,000 people to the Medicaid rolls in Cook County, two years ahead of schedule.
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Such an expansion would be required under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, provisions. Righter says the governor should be concerned about obeying state law before implementing Obamacare in advance. “When the governor mentions the word reform, twice, in his speech, apparently what the governor is talking about is growing the program despite a year ago his embracing the legislation saying we were not going to expand the program,” he says. Lawmakers passed several Medicaid measures last year, including residency requirements and implementation of online programs to track fraud and abuse.