• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois proposes $100 patient card for medical marijuana users, drops gun ban - Tech Times April 20, 2014
      Latin PostIllinois proposes $100 patient card for medical marijuana users, drops gun banTech TimesLou Lang, a Democrat and sponsor of the state's medical marijuana legislation who is a member of the committee set to vote to approve or turn down the rules. "I did ask them to remove it. I'm not the only person who did." However, despite the […]
    • Illinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient card - Northwest Herald April 18, 2014
      Illinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient cardNorthwest Herald"I'm happy to see that they have changed the provision," said Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, who sponsored the medical cannabis legislation and sits on the committee that will vote on the rules. "I did ask them to remove it. I'm not the only person ...and more »
    • Gambling Expansion Territorial Concerns - Alton Daily News April 20, 2014
      Alton Daily NewsGambling Expansion Territorial ConcernsAlton Daily NewsThe sponsor of the last gambling expansion bill isn't convinced the newest effort will work. State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) has been a longtime backer of building more casinos in Illinois, though his efforts never made it past the governor's desk. The ...
    • Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws - Fort Worth Star Telegram April 18, 2014
      Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics lawsFort Worth Star TelegramLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat and a House deputy majority leader, said he had not studied Homer's letter but also questioned whether the rules would have the desired effect. "Everything that happens in government and everything uttered and every request ...
    • Senate set to review Fine's bill on cyber bullying - Northbrook Star April 18, 2014
      Senate set to review Fine's bill on cyber bullyingNorthbrook StarThe Illinois House of Representatives has passed legislation to help protect children from cyber bullying. Authored by Rep. Laura Fine, House Bill 4207 expands the definition of bullying to include cyber bullying that occurs outside of school and on ...and more »
    • Proposed Rules for Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Filed - WIFR April 18, 2014
      Proposed Rules for Medical Marijuana Pilot Program FiledWIFRLou Lang (D-Skokie), who sponsored the legislation. “I am pleased with the direction we are going.” The following changes have been incorporated into the proposed rules filed today. Cultivation Centers>/b> • While the Act calls for one cultivation ...
    • 'Epidemic' of heroin addiction facing state, house committee hears - Chicago Daily Herald April 17, 2014
      'Epidemic' of heroin addiction facing state, house committee hearsChicago Daily HeraldDan Brady, David Harris, Lou Lang, Michelle Mussman and Mike McAuliffe -- attended the hearing, and said the testimony would be passed on to the rest of their committee. Advertisement. This was the second of four meetings being held around Illinois to ...
    • Odds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: Brown - Chicago Sun-Times April 17, 2014
      SFGateOdds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: BrownChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang of Skokie backed off his longtime sponsorship of casino expansion legislation because of a potential conflict of interest. But some of those in attendance who specialize in reading Madigan tea leaves were sure they perceived the speaker's ...New Chicago […]
    • Addiction treatment specialists say state funding is too low - nwitimes.com April 16, 2014
      NBC ChicagoAddiction treatment specialists say state funding is too lownwitimes.comLou Lang, D-Skokie, started a task force to examine possible legislative efforts to help the state's treatment system. “It's definitely going to be a problem moving forward,” Lang said. “Our state investment in prevention and treatment has gone down ...Addiction expe […]
    • State medical marijuana rules drop gun language - Canton Daily Ledger April 18, 2014
      State medical marijuana rules drop gun languageCanton Daily LedgerLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, sponsored the medical cannabis legislation and sits on the committee that will vote on the rules. He said Thursday he has been told the provision “is out of the rules.” The news was greeted warmly by patient advocates.
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

Illinois Medicaid, Pension Costs Will Push Illinois Bill Backlog to $35 Billion in 5 Years

(Springfield, IL) – A new report released Monday from the Civic Federation, a Chicago-based nonpartisan policy group that focuses on state spending, predicts Illinois’ Medicaid costs will skyrocket over the next five years.

Laurence Msall, federation president, said lawmakers and governors have spent Illinois into a deep hole by expanding Medicaid, which provides health-care coverage to low-income families.

“What is most frightening is that even after the income tax, the state was not able to pass a budget to fully fund Medicaid,” Msall said, referring to a 67 percent personal income tax increase and a 48 percent corporate income tax increase in January 2011.

But even with that additional revenue, Illinois lawmakers still had to pay more than $1 billion in 2011 Medicaid bills.

The Civic Federation report paints a grim picture for Medicaid spending:

  • Illinois is on pace to spend a total of nearly $14 billion on Medicaid this year
  • Illinois’ Medicaid costs are expected to increase 41 percent over the next five years.
  • Gov. Pat Quinn is budgeting only a 13 percent spending increase.

Illinois will see as many as 296,000 new people enroll in Medicaid once the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014.

Under the new law, which is designed to make health care and insurance more accessible, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of new Medicaid patients for two years. After 2016, Illinois will have to pay 50 percent of the costs.

The Civic Federation report also details increases in pension spending from $5.7 billion this year to $7.8 billion in 2017, and unpaid bills from $8.6 billion this year to $34.5 billion in five years.

Msall added that Medicaid spending is the biggest single cost for state government. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services expects to spend a total of $14 billion on Medicaid this year, that includes both state and federal dollars.

The Civic Federation report calculates pension spending to rise 35 percent over five years, while Medicaid spending is expected to jump 41 percent.

By Benjamin Yount/Illinois Statehouse News

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