The past two weeks were a non-stop affair for health care policy—the ACA saw its 2nd anniversary right before the Supreme court heard oral arguments for the historic case against the law, and here at IHM we premiered our data visualization tool. However, health care reform news has not stopped. Here’s a brief overview of what the next few months have in store for health care in Illinois:
Health Insurance Exchange: State legislators made little progress towards votes on the establishment of a competitive health care marketplace, though negotiations on HB 4141 are underway. Legislators still have time to establish an exchange, but the Federal deadlines are looming closer, and to miss deadlines could cause Illinois to lose out on important Federal grant money. If the group waits to move forward with the exchange until the Supreme Court announces its decision on the ACA case -- a prospect that interests some legislators -- , there may not be enough time to set up a functioning exchange. Governor Quinn has said that he would establish the exchange via an executive order if necessary.
Potential Cuts to Medicaid: The Illinois Medicaid program faces a $2.7 billion deficit in the coming fiscal year. In order to deal with that budget, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services has proposed a list of possible cuts to Medicaid services in order to balance the budget. As legislators go into the upcoming spring sessions, many advocates are calling for other methods of fixing the Medicaid budget deficit that do not compromise important health care services that the program provides.
The Illinois General Assembly starts its April sessions on the 17th.. Follow the progress of these health policy issues with IHM!