To the Editor:
The Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) is pleased that Governor Quinn recognizes the importance of increasing coverage and access to health care through Medicaid expansion and a state health insurance exchange. We also appreciate the Governor’s call to action on addressing the state’s fiscal challenges.
The hospital community fully understands the significance of the state’s budgetary challenges and the threats they pose to critical programs and services, including health care. It now takes an average of eight months for hospitals and health systems to be paid by the state for health care services they have provided to Medicaid beneficiaries, and in some cases, as long as a year for health services they provided to state employees.
In light of the critical importance of access to health care, we urge the Governor and General Assembly not to impose any further blunt cuts to Medicaid – through new payment reductions or other means – which would impede that access. Further cuts would undermine Illinoisans’ access to health care as well as cost jobs and stifle the state’s economic recovery.
IHA and the hospital community look forward to continue working with the Governor and the General Assembly to transform the state’s Medicaid program and the health care delivery system so all Illinoisans have access to the quality health care they need and deserve.
Maryjane A. Wurth,
President and CEO of the Illinois Hospital Association