Illinois lawmakers approve $23 million in cuts to LTC facilities

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Payment cuts to Illinois long-term care facilities totaled $23 million in the final FY 2006 budget approved by lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly this week.

The state's $43.6 billion fiscal 2006 operating budget also includes reductions in Medicare co-pays for dual eligibles to $23 million from the proposed $30 million cuts. Initially, the administration also proposed $80 million in cuts to long-term care facilities, according to the Illinois Health Care Association.

A restructuring of the state pension plan enabled a nearly $2 billion budget hole to be filled without massive cuts to other programs. But State Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka has requested an opinion from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as to the legality of the pension restructuring as well as the votes taken by the General Assembly.   Madigan's opinion could determine if the current budget deal will remain.

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