Can Illinois find more ways to save with Medicaid?  State Sens. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), both Republican hopefuls for governor, say this is where hundreds of millions can be found – after all, Medicaid has grown from $13 billion in 2010 to $19 billion this year.  But Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says they shouldn’t forget a law passed two years ago that saves billions.
 
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“It’s as if they weren’t even aware of the fact that we passed this major Smart Act, which was a bi-partisan bill, negotiated by Dale Righter, Sen. Dale Righter was the Senate Republican.  I’m sure Dillard and Brady must’ve voted for it [they did], and it saves $2.7 billion,” Cullerton said.
 
What’s really at issue here is the view by Senate Republicans that Maximus Health Services, a contractor cleansing the rolls of ineligible names, should be allowed to continue its work. he company knocked 215,000 names from the rolls before AFSCME complained that state employees were supposed to be doing this work.
 
Most of the names stricken were individuals who had moved out of state and were therefore not receiving benefits, but Senate Republicans say there still is some money to be saved.  Cullerton says lawmakers didn’t leave anything on the table in 2012.
 
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