A Republican lawmaker is accusing Gov. Pat Quinn of making a “backroom deal” with unions that threaten reforms to Medicaid. As part of reforms passed last year, an outside company, Maximus, was hired to determine if those receiving Medicaid benefits were eligible. In September, an arbitrator ruled that the state violated its union contract by hiring Maximus. Now, State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) says Quinn has made a deal with the unions to drop the appeal.
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“The state has given up the ability, in front of the arbitrator or at the appellate level, to fight for the reforms that it embraced and it agreed to,” Righter said. Quinn did not speak of any such agreement Tuesday, but did argue that negotiating with unions doesn’t constitute a “backroom deal.” “Well that isn’t the case. The fact of the matter is that I respect everyone, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in court,” Quinn said. Righter called on the General Assembly to pass new legislation to reinstate the state’s contract with Maximus.