SPRINGFIELD - Democrats in the Illinois Senate voted to expand Medicaid Thursday, despite the General Assembly's decision last year to stymie Medicaid expansion. SB 26 will open the way for single adults statewide to get on Medicaid rolls and take the state deep into Obamacare. All 19 Senate Republicans voted no.
SB 26 will set up a vast expansion of the state's Medicaid program, as called for in the ObamaCare legislation. Illinois is not required to allow these expansions and, in fact, current state law actually prohibits it -- a freeze on eligibility was passed in 2011 and extended in 2012.
Illinois Opportunity Project recently wrote, "As it stands now, Illinois' Medicaid program is already failing the people it is supposed to be helping, causing long waits for mediocre standards of care, and doing so all at a cost that is becoming rapidly unaffordable to taxpayers. Worse yet, if SB 26 were to pass, one-third of all Illinoisans could find themselves in Medicaid in just a few years."
Illinois Department of Health and Families Services Director Julie Hamos has been pushing for this legislation since the feds said the state had to set up a statewide health care program for single 18 to 26 year olds before Cook County could tap into Medicaid funds. SB 26 Senate roll call vote is as follows: