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Today’s must-read

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’ve discussed this before. The excerpts posted from this Capitol News Illinois story will give you a basic overview, but there’s a whole lot more. So, read the whole thing

The state estimates an expansion of state-sponsored health care to individuals who are ineligible for Medicaid based on their citizenship status is expected to cost $990 million in the upcoming fiscal year, far outpacing the original price tag cited when the measures became law. […]

[Then-Rep. Delia Ramirez] pegged the program’s Fiscal Year 2021 cost at $2 million, according to the newspaper.

The actual cost of the program far exceeded that estimate, and the program exceeded its FY 2021 appropriation within the first month of implementation, according to a closed-door presentation by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to lawmakers last month.

The cost of care for the 65 and over age group was nearly $188 million between March 2022 and February 2023, per that presentation.

Since the program’s initial passage, lawmakers have expanded it twice, lowering the age limit to 55 in 2021 and 42 a year later. The expanded program is known as Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults. […]

Milliman’s cost estimate of $68 million for the age 42-54 group was cited in floor debate, but thus far over $104 million in claims has been paid out. That number is expected to grow to $460 million in the upcoming fiscal year for that age group.

All told, the estimated $990 million price tag for the upcoming year represents a $768 million increase over the faulty initial current-year estimate. The Pritzker administration said IDHFS could cover about $300 million of the cost difference within its budget as proposed by the governor, while the rest would be subject to ongoing budget negotiations.

Again, click here.

Bottom line: Many of the folks demanding more state money next fiscal year are gonna be sorely disappointed.


  1. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 9:29 am:

    Old people need a lot of healthcare. Sounds like someone needs a, um, sober mind when making financial projections.

  2. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 9:35 am:

    “The source of the initial estimate is unclear,”
    Oops. Must forgot to carry the naught.

  3. - H-W - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 9:40 am:

    I read the story.

    Republicans have a tendency to decide who should be excluded from equality before the law. In this case, immigrants who pay state taxes to the citizenry of the State of Illinois should be excluded from the benefits of citizenship.

    As the story does note, preventative medicine costs much less than emergency medical care that is not reimbursed by people who cannot afford hospital care (which in reality, is everyone who lacks insurance).

    Republicans in Illinois would trade “care for the strangers among us” (a Biblical category), for aiding the rich. At the national level, Republicans today agreed with require the hungry and the poor (again, Biblical categories) to work at least 20 hours a week in order to receive food.

    Not coincidentally, and directly relevant, Florida today is authorizing $12M for the removal of “strangers among them” from the state of Florida, in order to relocate immigrants to Illinois, where Hammond and others wish to ban them from receiving medicine and food.

    Any Illinoisan familiar with our real history will know that Illinoisan politicians did the same thing in 1862, when it became apparent that Lincoln would sign the emancipation. Right before he did so, our Illinois legislature passed laws that forbade people of color from relocating to Illinois (Harris, 1904).

  4. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 9:41 am:

    There are groups of first and second year lawmakers who have never been told No before. They are about to understand the reality of budget making.

  5. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 9:41 am:

    Projecting can be hard. Especially when dealing with the undocumented population. One of the things about being undocumented is a strong will to be invisible and unnoticed so we are only guessing at how many we have.

    The other issue is I would have guessed that only a few people would come forward for health care due to a fear of coming to the attention of the authorities. Could be the undocumented people see the state as welcoming enough that they are getting their health seen to. That’s not a bad outcome in my book.

  6. - Steve - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 9:57 am:

    Illinois is a very progressive welcoming state for undocumented immigrants. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Don’t be surprised if Congress doesn’t help out as we get closer to 2024. It’s possible that Democrats will control the White House , Senate, and House in the very near future.

  7. - Bothanspied - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 10:58 am:

    Any fool projecting $2 million doesn’t deserve to be representing us. What do you expect an elderly, infirm person who suddenly has health insurance is going to do? They have years of untreated health issues to address.
    It’s too bad this is going to scale back (understand why it will) but I’m curious if this expenditure amount of claims would level off after the initial healthcare catch-up.

  8. - Stuck in Celliniland - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 11:50 am:

    ==Many of the folks demanding more state money next fiscal year are gonna be sorely disappointed.==

    Doesn’t sound good for the prospect of getting decent (if any) raises in the upcoming state employee contracts, currently under negotiation.

  9. - DuPage - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    - Steve - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 9:57 am:

    ===Don’t be surprised if Congress doesn’t help out===

    I would be surprised if Congress DOES help out.

  10. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    Read this story yesterday or before. I agree that a lot of people are going to be disappointed. The surpluses the Comptroller and COGFA are projecting can’t begin to cover this kind of expansion, plus more school money, plus everyone’s pet project back home, plus yada, yada, yada …

    Stuff is going to end up being rationed. The sausage making this year is going to be a bit more messy than people are used to.

  11. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 12:52 pm:

    ==Doesn’t sound good for the prospect of getting decent (if any) raises in the upcoming state employee contracts,==

    Yep. The Governor isn’t going to negotiate any raises. What planet are you from?

  12. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 12:53 pm:


  13. - DuPage - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 1:10 pm:

    A lot of small contractors hire undocumented workers and pay them out of pocket. Illinois needs to find a way to allow these workers to be covered by group health insurance that the other workers have available.

  14. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 1:23 pm:

    This is a misuse of state funds.
    Those who wish to help non-citizens can set up go fund me programs. Then the funds come from the willing. Fund health care, legal aid, food, housing, gambling losses, or anything else.
    I do distinguish between citizens and non-citizens,
    The good side of this expense is that it may build support for a more comprehensive immigration plan.

  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===allow these workers to be covered by group health insurance===

    Not sure the feds would be OK with that.

    However, I do wonder if a co-pay along with monthly premiums could be considered in exchange for the healthcare benefit (except for seniors).

  16. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Apr 26, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    Last Bull Moose,
    These folks are paying sales tax and property tax same as I am. The Feds created this immigration problem by not letting in nearly enough legal immigrants from our closest neighboring countries. The state is left to try to make it work.
    I’d prefer not to pay for all the prisons we have either, but it’s part of the deal.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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