Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the Illinois General Assembly passing Senate Bill 2840, a key part of his proposal for Medicaid restructuring.
"I salute Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, Minority Leader Christine Radogno, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, Rep. Patti Bellock, Sen. Heather Steans, Sen. Dale Righter, members of the General Assembly and everyone who joined the working group for making significant progress today towards rescuing our Medicaid system.
This is the first step toward saving Medicaid for those that rely upon it. The status quo would have led to Medicaid's collapse, and I am pleased to see the General Assembly take strong action to put our Medicaid system and our state on the path to sound fiscal footing.
And there is more work to do.
The General Assembly must move quickly to pass legislation to add a dollar a pack to the cost of cigarettes, which -- combined with today's legislation - will achieve the necessary $2.7 billion in savings to rescue Medicaid.
Raising the price of cigarettes is also sound health policy; smoking-related conditions are a significant burden on our Medicaid system, and this measure will improve the health of our people and reduce future Medicaid costs. Members of the General Assembly should not delay in taking action to reduce our Medicaid burden and access dollar-for-dollar federal matching funds by increasing the price of cigarettes.