Judge Orders Illinois To Pay More Toward Medicaid Bills

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(AP) – A federal judge has ordered the state of Illinois to pay $253 million more toward Medicaid bills every month and an additional $1 billion during the next year.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow’s ruling on Friday came after lawyers representing Medicaid patients and attorneys for the state were unable to agree on a plan to pay down a $3 billion backlog owed to health care providers. Illinois is entering a third year without a budget.

The ruling requires the state to start promptly paying all new Medicaid bills. Lefkow also ruled the state must pay down $2 billion of the backlog in payments over the course of the coming fiscal year.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza says the ruling would cause her to likely cut payments to pension funds, state payroll or local governments. She said payments to bond holders won’t be interrupted.

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