Government
4:42 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Savings from medicaid cuts fall short

Illinois officials say savings from cuts to Medicaid have fallen short by $464-million dollars. That's about 30 percent of the expected 1.6-billion dollars in cuts to the health program for the poor.

Julie Hamos, director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, gave a status report on the cost-cutting measures to a legislative committee Thursday in Springfield.

"There were delays in implementation, just because it was the first year, it took a little while to get some of these changes enacted and implemented. And we do expect to reach these targets, but not this fiscal year," Hamos says.

Nearly half the gap is because it's taken longer than expected to implement a program to check Medicaid recipients' eligibility.

In addition, the federal government denied permission to carry out some planned cuts. Repairing a long-term deficit in the Medicaid program was a top legislative priority for Governor Pat Quinn last year.