SPRINGFIELD -- Thousands of people in the state who don't have health insurance could soon be covered. Lawmakers slashed billions from the Medicaid program last year.
Now they want to expand it and change eligibility to add about 300,000 people. They include low-income workers between 19 - 65 who don't have kids so they can get state health coverage.
Currently, they don't qualify.
Supporters say it will help those people be healthier and more successful in jobs, which in turn, helps the economy. Plus, it will create more sound jobs for doctors and other healthcare workers.
But, the big question is how to pay for it. Illinois wouldn't owe anything for the first three years. It would totally be covered by federal dollars. It's all part of the Affordable Care Act.
18-other states have already said "yes" to the same kind of expansion. A group of lawmakers gave it the initial "go-ahead." Now it heads to the senate for a full debate.
Original: 6:00 am
SPRINGFIELD -- Lawmakers are back in action, and one of the big issues will be a possible expansion to Medicaid. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger has more on what to expect.
One of the first items expected on the agenda of the senate is a committee vote on same-sex marriage. The senate president announced last week he has enough support for it.
There could be a floor vote on the issue on Valentine's Day. Meantime, critics are trying to pass a law to keep marriage between a man and woman.
In another committee, senators will be debating a Medicaid bill, to add more people to the roll. Experts say about 300,000 low-income adults aren't eligible for it because they don't have dependent children. This is part of the Affordable Care Act.
All are currently in committee, but there could be votes on the actual floor relatively soon. Governor Quinn is giving his State of the State address Wednesday. One of the biggest topics expected to be addresses is the need for pension reform.