Illinois Gov. Quinn wants Medicaid cuts, cigarette tax hike

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by Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 19 at 12:47 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois -- Gov. Pat Quinn says saving the Illinois Medicaid program will require cutting services, raising cigarette taxes and cutting payments to health-care providers.

Aides to the Democratic governor told The Associated Press on Thursday that Quinn is proposing a cigarette tax increase of $1 per pack. They expect the tax to generate about $337 million, which would then be matched by the federal government.

His plan also would end health care services for about 215,000 people and limit the use of programs that the federal government deems optional.

The proposal that Quinn is announcing Thursday calls for a $675 million cut in the amount paid to doctors, hospitals and others who provide care to the poor.

Illinois officials say Medicaid costs are climbing so fast the state can’t keep up.

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