House backs Medicaid expansion legislation despite GOP opposition

SHARE House backs Medicaid expansion legislation despite GOP opposition

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House has voted to expand Medicaid despite Republican concerns about how to pay for it.

Lawmakers voted 75-37 on Wednesday to restore funding for adult dental and podiatry services. Those services were cut in 2012 as a cost-saving measure.

But Democratic Rep. Greg Harris says the cuts didn’t save the state money because people wound up in the emergency room, where care is more expensive.

Harris says the additional services will cost about $221 million this year. But he says federal funds will cover some of the expense, making the final cost to taxpayers about $125 million.

Republican Rep. Patricia Bellock of Hinsdale says the GOP is concerned about how to sustain services for those who need it in a tough budget year.

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