KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Feds Tussle With Illinois Over State Medicaid Fraud Bill

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has blocked a state law designed to eliminate potential fraud in Illinois' Medicaid system by requiring recipients to prove they live in the state and have low incomes.  

MSNBC: Federal Government Blocks Medicaid Bill
The Federal Government has blocked an attempt by the Illinois General Assembly to eliminate potential fraud in the state's Medicaid system. Last year, the General Assembly passed a bipartisan bill which required Medicaid recipients to show they had low incomes and were residents of the state. Those changes were to go into effect July first of this year. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services objected to the Illinois reform measures ... and blocked them from taking effect. "We think the reforms would generate almost 800 million dollars in extra financial strength for Medicaid to take care of Illinois residents. That's why we were so surprised when the federal government over-rode the bipartisan reforms," (said) Republican Senator Mark Kirk (7/18). 

Chicago Sun-Times: Kirk, Biggert Seek To End Medicaid Benefits For Non-Poor And Out-Of-State Residents
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich had dropped the requirement for people to provide two pay stubs to prove they live in Illinois and met the income requirements, Kirk said Monday. That proved an expensive gift from Illinois to out-of-state and higher-earning patients. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent Illinois officials a letter June 24 - a week before the new rules were to take effect - saying the federal health care reform law prohibits states from dropping people from Medicaid eligibility (Pallasch, 7/18).

Fox News: Illinois Lawmakers Ask Medicaid Agency To Let State Enforce Fraud Rules
A dozen lawmakers from Illinois are petitioning the chief of Medicare and Medicaid Services to reject his agency's decision to "disallow" a provision in the state's Medicaid reform law that seeks to verify recipients' identities and incomes before giving out health benefits. Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, Republican Rep. Judy Biggert and 10 members of the Illinois congressional delegation on Monday sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick asking for a review of the decision to prevent Illinois from tracking fraud in the system (7/18). 

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