* Last week, Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration announced it wasn’t going to wait for federal government approval to implement Medicaid fraud rules. The feds wanted yet another study before agreeing to allow Illinois to check residency and income status before adding people to the Medicaid rolls…
[Federal] officials wanted another study of the Illinois proposals, but [Julie Hamos, director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services] said she feared that six months from now “we would still be tearing our hair out and saying, ‘Where is the approval?’”
Medicaid is Illinois’ single biggest operating expense, a $14 billion program with 2.7 million people on the rolls. That’s 1 in 5 Illinois residents.
It is a lifeline for many poor people. But there’s good reason to think that many people are getting Medicaid from Illinois who don’t qualify for it — who don’t even live in Illinois. In a letter to federal authorities, Hamos revealed that about 6 percent of Medicaid identification cards sent to Illinois households in November bounced back as “undeliverable with out-of-state addresses.”
* And, now, Quinn is looking to at least temporarily bypass the General Assembly on setting up a new health insurance exchange…
Gov. Pat Quinn is weighing whether to use an executive order to jump-start planning for Illinois’ health insurance exchange, a move that could rankle both state legislators and business groups.
In an apparent sign of impatience with the slow-moving Illinois General Assembly, a spokeswoman for the governor said the administration may use the order to create the “skeleton” of an exchange, which would allow staff to push forward with planning efforts.
That option immediately drew criticism.
“We would not favor that approach,” said Laura Minzer, executive director of the Health Care Council of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. […]
Jim Duffett, executive director of the Champaign-based campaign, called creating the exchange via an order “a very viable thing” that would “move the process forward.”
Duffet has been arguing that business interests have too tightly controlled the legislative process to create the exchange. which is required under the federal health insurance reform law.
* What do you think? Do these actions show that Pat Quinn is acting more like a governor, or is it just my imagination?
* Related. and a Statehouse roundup…
* ADDED: Illinois could divert tax refunds of city debtors
* Cellini’s wife off preservation agency board: Without fanfare, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn filed a notice with the secretary of state that he was making a new appointment to the spot held by Julie Cellini, whose term had expired.
* Illinois chamber joins lawsuit over ‘Obamacare’
* Business group wants quick decision on health care
* Editorial: Citizens deserve power to enact ethics reforms
* Constitutionality of Illinois eavesdropping law challenged in court - Attorney argues statute ‘not designed to protect police conduct that is open and in public,’ should not prohibit audio recording
* Lawmaker proposes new solution to distracted driving in Illinois
* High-tech car gadgets distracting, experts say
* Another plan floated to ground state’s air fleet