An expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is one step closer in Illinois.
The state Senate passed the expansion 40-19 on Thursday. The bill now goes to the House.
Nearly 2.8 million Illinois residents are currently covered by Medicaid, the government health program for the poor and disabled.
Starting in 2014, an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 uninsured Illinois residents would be newly eligible for coverage. The expansion would mainly benefit low-income adults who don't have children at home.
“We can’t afford it…it’s not rocket science," Allen said. "If we expand, taking federal dollars now, which I do not believe would not use some state (general revenue), even with what we’re told the feds would do now, there will be a time (when) the feds will back off.”
More than 135,000 high-cost Illinois patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid will be assigned to a managed care health plan by early next year, if they don't opt out of a new program to coordinate their care.
The initiative is a partnership between Illinois and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Illinois is the fourth state to get approval for such a demonstration project, aimed at providing better care at lower costs for a group of patients known as "dual eligibles." The federal agency announced its approval Friday.
Democratic Governor Jay Nixon hasn’t stopped advocating for Missouri to accept the federal government’s money for Medicaid expansion, in spite of state Republican lawmakers leaving it out of their proposed budget.
Nixon lobbied in St. Charles Wednesday for the state to accept $900 million to expand the program to over a quarter of a million low income adults.
Nixon has appealed throughout the state. What makes Nixon’s stop in St. Charles unique is that the area is typically conservative turf.