Illinois Republicans Ask Governor for State Cost of New Health Law
Washington, DC - The entire Republican Congressional delegation from Illinois has asked Governor Pat Quinn what the cost of Medicaid expansion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be to the state. This is the third time Members of Congress have asked for this information, and the letters have all gone unanswered.
In November 2009 a letter was sent to Director Barry Maram of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. In March 2011 a letter was sent to the Governor. The concern is that outside organizations have estimated the cost in the billions per year. And with the state hardly able to cover current bills, where will this money come from?
The letter notes that “these increased costs will further delay payments to providers who routinely experience unacceptably long payment delays.” Those delays could extend to over five months.
In addition, “with nearly 40% of U.S. physicians not accepting Medicaid at all, we are extremely concerned about what these additional financial burdens on our fiscally unsound state budget will mean for patient access and quality of care.”
In summary, “it is imperative that your office provide us with a projected estimate of the effect of PPACA’s obligations will have on the State of Illinois. The people of Illinois must hear from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services or the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget as to the true costs Medicaid’s expansion will have on the state’s bottom line. Conversely, if the state has failed to do such an analysis, they deserve to know why the state has ignored what may have devastating impacts on our already struggling state budget.”