Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Medicaid and Runaway Pension Costs FINALLY Move to the Front Burner

So the Governor's FY 2013 Budget is now delivered. The GOP was largely okay with the Gov's address, noting the proposed reforms to the state pensions and Medicaid are critical to getting the state's finances back on track.

Where the GOP's criticism does focus is on the lack of details. The Gov's address, and Budget briefing for the press, left a lot of details still to be determined.

Sen Radogno was also critical of the increase in state spending. And that could have been cut -- but we should note the increase in spending is driven largely by two factors that increase automatically - Pensions, and Medicaid.

Thus, the Governor called for reforms that will alter the automatic spending increases in these two programs. But again... how that should be done, the Gov doesn't say, but proposes a committee of lawmakers should make a proposal on April 17th.

Illinois would have been much better off had this address been delivered 10 years ago. But at least the critical need to address these programs that continue to eat away at the state budget, has FINALLY been proposed.

But the GOP lawmakers add, if the Gov is serious about repairing the Medicaid system that bleeds money -- he might start by signing the request for waivers from the US Govt. The GOP notes the bipartisan agreement on reforming Medicaid, that was reached last year, has yet to accomplish anything, because Gov Quinn -- after an entire year -- has yet to request these Federal waivers.

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