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00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d38650002Issues of food, fuel, and field affecting Illinois.

Statehouse Dems Push Urgent Federal Medicaid Funding Plan Forward

Greg Harris speaking at a subcommittee meeting
Sam Dunklau
NPR Illinois 91.9 FM
Rep. Greg Harris (D, Chicago) speaks at a House subcommittee meeting on the hospital assessment program on Jan. 30. The committee is in charge of getting the final bill to the Statehouse floor.

Democrats in Springfield are pushing ahead with a plan hospitals say can’t come soon enough. It’s worth billions of dollars for treating some of the state’s most vulnerable people. 


It’s called the hospital assessment program, and it’s how the state pulls in billions of dollars in federal money to treat elderly, poor and disabled patients on the Medicaid program.

The two political parties have been negotiating in private for months, and now Democrats are pushing the debate out into the open.

State Rep. Greg Harris is a Democrat from Chicago. He’s putting out what he calls a draft proposal, but acknowledged some parts of the final bill need to be ironed out.

So far both sides seem to agree more money should go to what are known as safety net hospitals, which tend to serve a greater number of low-income or uninsured patients.

Time is running out, though: The current funding scheme, and the federal money that goes with it, expires on July 1.

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.
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