Illinois hospitals are one step closer to saving a program that generates a lot of money used to treat low-income patients.
Under the program, Illinois hospitals front money to take care of people with government health insurance. Federal matching payments then add three-and-a-half billion more dollars. That money is essential for so-called “safety-net hospitals,” where a majority of patients are the elderly, poor and disabled on Medicaid. Those hospitals have been urging state lawmakers to renew the program before the money dries up on July 1st. Anne Igoe represents safety-net hospitals on the south side of Chicago. “The longer we go without this bill being passed, the more we struggle with all of these hospitals being shut down, and that would be detrimental.” Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration helped negotiate the deal and he is expected to sign it. But the plan still needs federal approval before any money can start flowing.