Nursing Home Workers Protest Quinn’s Planned Medicaid Cuts

CHICAGO (CBS) — A spirited rally organized by the state’s nursing home industry livened up the plaza outside the Thompson Center on Monday, as workers and administrators gathered to protest the governor’s planned Medicaid cuts.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports about 800 nursing home workers and administrators rallied outside the Thompson Center, claiming proposed cuts to Medicaid programs would lead to 13,000 job losses in the nursing home industry.

Chanting “stop cuts,” and holding signs reading “save our parents and grandparents,” the protesters rallied in opposition of Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed Medicaid cuts, which would lead to nursing homes losing about 15 percent of their Medicaid revenue – or about $237 million.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

An activities director at Rennaissance Park Nursing Home on the South Side, said she knows it’s budget cutting time, but she said the governor’s plan is the wrong approach.

“I understand that, but he does not have to cut there,” said the woman who identified herself as Tracelyn.

Pat Comstock, spokesman for the Health Care Council of Illinois, suggested the state should do more to scrutinize the eligibility of people who currently receive Medicaid benefits.

“We think if that’s focused on, that the cuts won’t have to be as dramatic,” Comstock said.

The governor has said he is seeking to cut $2.7 billion in Medicaid costs this year, and has suggested he’ll keep lawmakers in Springfield until they either agree to his proposed cuts, or come up with another acceptable plan to cut $2.7 billion in Medicaid costs.

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