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National Health Care Law Could Cost Illinois $40 Billion

The new Republican health care legislation in Congress could cost Illinois $40 billion dollars in federal funding over the next decade. That’s according to the recent report by the Congressional Budget Office.

Illinois’ health care exchange has not been the success Obamacare proponents were hoping for. Insurance companies have struggled to find customers.

But hospitals say the expansion of Medicaid has been huge for Illinois. It’s given 600,000 people access to healthcare, so far paid in full by the federal government.

Roberta Rakove of the Sinai Health System in Chicago, says the results have been positive.

“These patients now have medical homes. They’re receiving preventative care. They’re being treated much earlier in their illnesses.”

Under the Republican health plan, that federal money would go away. If Illinois wanted to keep its expanded Medicaid program, state government would have to pay for it -- at a cost of 3-and-a-half billion dollars a year.

Hospitals estimate the plan would shove about 400,000 Illinoisans off Medicaid by 2026.

Tom reports on statehouse issues for NPR Illinois. He's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. He graduated from Macalester College. Tom is from New York City where he also did stand-up and improv and wrote for the Awl and WNYC public radio.