Cutting Medicaid will have an impact on the Illinois economy, according to those who oppose cuts. Health care isn’t just something that sick people need. It’s also an industry, says Jim Duffett of the Campaign for Better Health Care, based in Champaign.
“For those legislators who may have certain perspectives about people who are on Medicaid, not only should they step back and really understand the Medicaid program and understand how entrenched it is all across the board, but to also step back and look at the economic impact of the jobs that could be lost in their district,” he said. The campaign and the group Families USA are out with a report that says if the state cuts 18 percent from Medicaid, which is the governor’s proposal, Illinois will lose 25,615 jobs and $3.2 billion in economic activity. The Illinois Hospital Association and the Coalition for a Responsible Budget joined the Campaign for Better Health Care in presenting the report in Springfield.
Specifically, the governor wants to cut $2 billion from Medicaid, and raise the cigarette tax by $1 to raise $700 million to close the gap. The governor’s office says the Illinois’ Medicaid system will collapse without spending cuts.