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Illinois is allowing more hepatitis C patients on Medicaid to access drugs that can cure the potentially fatal disease.  The state relaxed a 2-year-old policy that had limited drug coverage to just the sickest patients, or those with stage 4 liver scarring.  Now, Medicaid will cover drug costs for those with stage 3 scarring. 

The state of Illinois is seeking permission from the federal government to use Medicaid funding to pay for mental health and substance abuse services.  Those programs usually aren't covered under the health insurance program for those living in poverty. 

Addiction treatment and support for long-term recovery are included in a new proposal to restructure Illinois' $18 billion Medicaid program.  Twelve Illinois state agencies and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's office will host two public hearings next week on the proposal. 

Many elderly and disabled people who live in nursing homes need a lot more help taking care of their teeth.

A federal judge is ordering Illinois to provide in-home nursing care to more than 1,200 children with disabilities and severe medical conditions after a lawsuit alleging the state has failed to fulfill its Medicaid obligations.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has created a task force charged with finding fraud in taxpayer-funded health care programs.

The Republican Tuesday used his executive authority to form the group. It'll seek ways to prevent waste in state- and federally funded Medicaid , the state employee's health insurance and even costs of caring for inmates in Illinois prisons. Rauner says the cost of state-run health care programs increases when no one watches to stop abuse and fraud.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has created a task force to root out waste, fraud and abuse in taxpayer-funded health care programs.  The Republican signed an executive order to implement that group, which will also seek ways to prevent waste in state- and federally funded Medicaid and employee health insurance programs. 

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 A federal judge has ruled a program providing in-home services to seniors is covered by Medicaid and should be funded even though there's no Illinois budget because of a political stalemate.

 Stephanie Altman is with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. She says U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow issued the ruling in Chicago on Wednesday. 

Altman says the Community Care Program serves 89,000 seniors. It provides homemaking assistance which allows them to avoid costly nursing home care. 

Illinois lawmakers' attack on heroin abuse is law despite a partial veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

The sponsor of legislation intended to curb heroin abuse says he'll try to override Governor Bruce Rauner's partial veto.

Attorneys for Illinois’ comptroller are expected to be in court today to respond to allegations they’re in contempt.  The office is being sued for not paying court-mandated services for developmentally disabled residents. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner has returned legislation to the General Assembly that attempts to curtail heroin overdoses, fearing a burdensome cost to the state. 

A federal judge in Chicago is mandating the State of Illinois to pay Cook County Medicaid providers - even though the budget impasse continues at the Statehouse.

Several state government services have now been deemed so important - they must be provided while politicians disagree on how to spend taxpayer money.

The latest must-pay bill for the state applies to Cook County Medicaid providers. Medical payments for low income people are one of the biggest chunks of money the state provides.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he plans to raise eligibility levels for those senior citizens in Illinois’ Community Care program. Rauner says it’s necessary to help handle a budget Democrats’ passed without sufficient revenue.  

Illinois House Democrats have sent a clear message to Gov. Bruce Rauner that they disagree with his proposed cuts to human services in next year's budget.

Pharmacists affected by proposed Medicaid cuts

Apr 24, 2015

Illinois residents are getting a better idea of how new state government budget cuts will affect them.  That’s after the governor and lawmakers approved a plan to fix a 1.6 billion dollar budget hole.  

Cuts to Medicaid will make up about one-third of the $300 million in spending reductions by Gov. Bruce Rauner's office as part of a budget fix for this fiscal year.

Demand for food stamps has increased in Illinois and 10 other states despite a healthier economy and better jobs numbers. An Associated Press analysis finds it's an unforeseen consequence of President Barack Obama's health care law.

A large hospital system has agreed to alter its managed care contract with Illinois, saving the state $5.1 million.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's first budget proposal seeks $1.5 billion in cuts to Medicaid. The way he gets there shows he's willing to go toe-to-toe with three powerful business lobbies: retail pharmacies, nursing homes and hospitals. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner's first shot at a state budget didn't include new taxes. But no one should assume the ultimate solution to Illinois' budget crisis won't involve opening their wallets.

A key government leader in Illinois' health insurance enrollment efforts over the past two years has resigned.

Illinois' new Republican governor will pitch a plan for fixing the state's budget mess that includes deep spending cuts, according to three lawmakers with knowledge of the proposal. 

A new report finds Illinois has continued making health care payments for people who died, despite officials saying last year that the problem needed to be fixed.

Peoria Public Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his state of the state address Wednesday, and if his preview speeches are any indication, the governor will continue to blame part of Illinois' budget problems on the salaries and benefits of state workers. 

State: 685,000 people sign up under health law in IL

Sep 30, 2014

It's been a year since the Affordable Care Act launched in Illinois. The state says 685,000 people have taken advantage of the law --- more than expected.

The state of Illinois has been undertaking a massive change to its system of health care for the poor, elderly and disabled. IT's meant to streamline the struggling system and save money. But some say the state is moving too slowly.

Illinois sees surge of Medicaid patients

Apr 29, 2014

Illinois officials are dealing with a surge of new patients in the Medicaid program. Its part of last month's rush of people seeking coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

This year, Illinois began a program to cull the state's Medicaid rolls.  So far, it has resulted in two out of every five recipients being dropped. But some lawmakers say a new agreement with a labor union jeopardizes further cost savings. 

Little accomplished in first week of veto session

Oct 24, 2013

Illinois legislators were supposed to meet this week for three days as part of the fall veto session. Instead they left Springfield after only two. Little was accomplished during that time.