WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Medicaid Cuts Could Hurt Children

Mar 8, 2014

A children's advocacy group says the biggest hurdle low-income kids in Illinois have to overcome is actually one of the government's making.

Voices For Illinois Children is lobbying for increased state funding of programs that benefit kids in poverty. 

The group's newest report says the expansion of Medicaid -- the state's healthcare program for the poor -- was the biggest single source of assistance for this population. 

Emily Miller, the organization's policy advocacy director, said threats to cut back on Medicaid to balance the state's checkbook will hurt low-income children.

“Our families and communities cannot afford the level of cuts that would be required to put this state into the black. It's really important that lawmakers understand and hear this call.  Our communities cannot survive with the cuts that have been discussed,” Miller said.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say the state's Medicaid program has grown to unsustainable levels and it needs to be overhauled in order to find savings.