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State Week: Pritzker takes heat over immigrant health care limits

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Lawmakers gave Gov. JB Pritzker authority to manage costs in the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults program. His administration has filed emergency rules that limit enrollment.

The action comes on the heels of skyrocketing cost estimates for the program, which serves individuals between 42-64 years old, who would be eligible for Medicaid benefits based on income levels but not their citizenship status.

A similar program serving noncitizens age 65 and older, known as Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors, will remain open unless enrollment reaches 16,500, at which time it will also be paused.

Still, advocates, including members of the Latino Caucus, say the decision is short sighted.

We also discuss Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias' first few months in office, which resulted in several legislative wins.

Host Sean Crawford is joined by Professor Emeritus Charlie Wheeler and Chicago Tribune reporter Dan Petrella.

The former director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.