More that 160,000 residents around the state are bracing for the impact of reduced health care. A sweeping Medicaid reform bill went through the Illinois Legislature this spring, that reduced Medicaid funding by $1.6 billion. Among the programs on the chopping block is Illinois Cares Rx.
This could affect many low-income families. Illinois Department of Insurance spokesman Mark Terry says the program gave discounts to seniors in certain income and asset ranges.
Governor Pat Quinn is being asked by several groups that advocate for seniors to use his line-item veto powers to keep Illinois Cares Rx funded. Quinn, however, praised the legislation as "saving the Medicaid system from the brink of collapse." Some say seniors will stop buying their prescriptions, start cutting pills in half, or do something else to land in a Medicaid bed at a hospital or nursing home. To contact the Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program, call (800) 548-9034.