SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate has passed HB 5007, which is a waiver for Cook County's Medicaid system (see roll call below). The bill was passed with the stipulation that it will go into effect only if the Illinois General Assembly passes SB 2840 - the Medicaid Obamacare bill that includes a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase to set up health care exchanges in Illinois.
HB 5007 - sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston) passed in a 35 to 22 vote, with no questions or discussion on the Senate floor. And despite the fact that its passage did not require Republican votes, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno permitted (or urged), five lame duck GOP Senators to cross over and vote with the Democrats.
The vote indicates how the Medicaid-Obamacare vote on SB 2840 is likely to go down. Shane Cultra, Tom Johnson, John O. Jones, John Millner and Suzi Schmidt broke ranks, damaged the GOP anti-tax brand, and possibly cost Republicans seats come November. None of them are on the ballot this year and therefore have no accountability to the voters.
Of course, Radogno's deal did allow four Democrats in tough races to vote against the bill. Democrats Forby, Haine, Jacobs, and Sullivan got a pass thanks to Radogno and the five others.
Interestingly, Radogno herself voted against the bill. Most likely because she's up for re-election in a district where the voters would not approve.
Republicans are expressing outrage, and calling Radogno's actions a betrayal. We'll bring you reaction and updates.