WASHINGTON — The $2.7 billion reduction in Medicaid spending proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn would hurt the Illinois economy, health care providers and patients, according to a new report released today by Families USA and Campaign for Better Health Care.
The two health care consumer groups contend a 5 percent reduction in state Medicaid spending would jeopardize more than 7,000 jobs and cost the state about $923 million a year in business activity.
A 10 percent reduction doubles those estimates and Quinn's proposed 18 percent cut would mean the potential loss of 25,616 jobs and nearly $3.3 billion in lost business activity, the report states.
"Just because Medicaid gets cut doesn't mean that people will be any less sick or need any less medical care," Campaign for Better Health Care Executive Director Jim Duffett said in a written statement. "With no source for preventive or primary care, patients will eventually end up in the emergency room with a more severe illness or complications. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac issues must be managed or the consequences can be fatal."
Duffett also said the cost of paying for uncompensated care is passed on to consumers, employers and businesses through higher insurance costs.
According to Illinois Hospital Association President and CEO Maryjane Wurth, drastic Medicaid cuts hurt everyone because hospitals will be forced to reduce jobs and cut or eliminate medical services everyone uses.
The state also stands to lose federal money through this Medicaid cut, she said. For every dollar spent on Medicaid, Illinois receives just over one dollar in federal matching funds.
More in Thursday's News-Gazette.