Illinois lawmakers are trying to blunt an attempt by the Rauner administration to save money by culling the ranks of those receiving home care services via Medicaid. One of the measures used to determine eligibility for services is the “Determination of Need” score – the “DON Score.” A bill which has passed both chambers would stop the administration's attempt to raise the score needed to be eligible. State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) warned the House against committing something the state can't afford: “What we're doing here (by passing the bill) is putting into statute a promise of services that will be delivered without understanding where that money to deliver those services will come from.”
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“We need to call a spade a spade,” countered State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana). “This process to attempt to change the DON score is an attempt to balance this on the backs of the poor, the seniors, the disabled, and those who, in many cases, don't have a voice and don't have money.” The sponsor, State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) says the proposed change of the DON Score threshold is another strategy to save money in the short term while forcing people out of their homes and into more costly care options. HB 2482 has passed the House, 74-13-12, and goes to the governor.