low-income children, parents, seniors, and people with disabilities and behavioral health
needs, including addiction and mental illness. However, the program faces a $2.7 billion deficit this year, and legislators are exploring a range of solutions. We all need to ask: How much does each of these “solutions” actually cost us in health and long-term care outcomes and state funds? Our organizations endorse the following principles for stabilizing the Illinois Medicaid program.
Solutions such as cutting prescription drug coverage, eligibility, or optional services are unacceptable and will drive up long-term state costs. The services people on Medicaid receive now reduce future state health spending by providing prevention services and early intervention.
Transformative Medicaid reforms are being implemented but need time to work. To improve the health and lives of Medicaid recipients while reducing costs, Illinois is contracting with commercial managed care companies and networks of providers to implement robust care coordination models. However, these programs cannot be in place overnight.
The General Assembly and Governor have underfunded Medicaid for 20 years; a multi-year solution is needed to balance the program budget. Medicaid reforms enacted in 2011 already establish a decade-long glide path to pay old bills, and this plan should be followed.
The Medicaid budget cannot be balanced with Medicaid cuts alone. New revenue and savings from legislative changes in other budget areas must be applied to Medicaid. Medicaid cannot be firewalled from the rest of the state budget; it is an economic engine that supports families, creates jobs, and helps children learn.
American Cancer Society (Illinois Division), Campaign for Better Health Care, Chicago ADAPT, Citizen Action Illinois, CJE SeniorLife, Doctors Council SEIU, Haymarket Center, Health and Disability Advocates, Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, IL Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, IL Alliance for Retired Americans, IL Association of Public Health Administrators, IL Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, IL Chiropractic Society, IL Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, IL Iowa Center for Independent Living, IL Maternal and Child Health Coalition, IL Partners for Human Service, IL Primary Health Care Association, IL Public Health Association, IL Society for Advanced Practice Nursing, Illinois Society for Public Health Education, IL Valley Center for Independent Living, Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living, Impact CIL, Latino Policy Forum, National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, New Age Services, Ounce of Prevention Fund,