A bipartisan group of Illinois lawmakers that formed to identify $2.7 billion in cuts to the state's Medicaid program missed its April 17 deadline. Now Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to announce his own cuts today. The group did pinpoint $1.4 billion in savings in the federal-state health care program for the poor, elderly, and disabled, including the elimination of Illinois Cares RX -- which helps 200,000 seniors get prescription drugs.
It is unclear what more Quinn can cut in a program that does contribute to the state deficit, but also operates fairly leanly and provides health care for 2.7 million of Illinois' most vulnerable residents. Quinn may suggest a $1-a-pack cigarette tax increase, and also cuts to health care providers.