As talks about deep Medicaid cuts pick up steam, so are the buses carrying people protesting them. Dozens of people came to the Capitol Wednesday to protest what they say are unfair and inhumane cuts to the Medicaid program. William McNary of Citizen Action Illinois says $2.7 billion in cuts, as the governor says is necessary, is outrageous.
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“It will inflict real pain, and unnecessary pain, on the elderly, the disabled, the children and the low-income families that rely on this program,” he says. “Cutting payments to providers will place an unnecessary burden on already overburdened providers of health care for the poor.” McNary says the state has a revenue problem, even though it just raised the income tax last year. He suggests cutting unspecified tax loopholes, sweeping special funds and increasing cigarette taxes to help pay for Medicaid. The governor’s proposal includes a cigarette tax increase to cover part of the $2.7 billion.