SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday rejected as “baloney” GOP criticism this week about the slow speed at which his administration is enacting Medicaid cuts.
On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Lemont) questioned whether the governor was deliberately delaying the removal of as many as 300,000 ineligible Medicaid recipients from the state dole to avoid alienating those potential Democrat voters at election time.
“That’s complete baloney, and she knows it,” Quinn said in Chicago, referring to Radogno, “and the Republicans know it.”
The GOP leaders said “scrubbing” the Medicaid rolls could result in savings of as much as $350 million during this budget year but questioned how those savings could be realized if the process doesn’t fully get underway until January as the Quinn administration proposes.
Top Quinn aides previously branded Monday’s partisan attack as “100-percent false” and said the Department of Healthcare and Human Services acted within the required 90-day timeframe after Quinn signed the Medicaid cuts into law to hire a company to oversee the eligibility-screening effort.
Last Thursday, the state hired Reston, Va.-based Maximus Health Services in a two-year, $76 million deal.
“We’re going at full speed. We don’t want anyone on the rolls that isn’t qualified or eligible for the Medicaid program. But in order to carry this out, you have to properly follow the contract rules, the procurement rules of Illinois, [and] make sure the people are well trained so they do their job right,” Quinn said.
“They know this. This is all politics,” the governor continued, ratcheting up criticism at his GOP critics. “We’re about seven weeks away from the election. That’s what they’re doing . It’s all politics. They know full well that Pat Quinn, the governor of Illinois, is ferreting out fraud and waste anywhere he sees it in state government.”