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Illinois Medicaid cuts fall short of projections

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials say savings from cuts to the state's Medicaid program have fallen short by $464 million, about 30 percent of the expected $1.6 billion in cuts to the health program for the poor. Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos gave a status report on the cost-cutting measures to a legislative committee Thursday in Springfield. Nearly half the gap is because of a delay in implementing a program to check Medicaid recipients' eligibility. In addition, the federal government denied permission to carry out some planned cuts. Hamos says the Illinois Hospital Association won changes to rules that will mean $30 million in cost savings won't be achieved. Repairing a long-term deficit in the Medicaid program was a top legislative priority for Gov. Pat Quinn last year.

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