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Nursing Home Workers Protest Medicaid Spending Cuts

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Nursing home workers rally outside the Thompson Center on May 13, 2013, to protest budget cuts to programs funded by Medicaid. (Credit: CBS)

Nursing home workers rally outside the Thompson Center on May 13, 2013, to protest budget cuts to programs funded by Medicaid. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Hundreds of nursing home staff members and others rallied outside the Thompson Center on Monday, trying to fend off new cuts for medical services.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports state Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Chicago), who said she works in the healthcare industry, told a cheering crowd that cutting Medicaid funding for nursing home residents is just wrong.

“They are telling us we have to make cuts across the board, but healthcare is just not one of those areas that I’m willing to cut,” she said.

The Health Care Council of Illinois helped organize the rally to protest cuts in funding to Medicaid programs and other medical services for nursing home residents.

Annie Moore’s brother is at the Countryside Care nursing home in Aurora. She said he needs glasses, but his frames broke, and he can’t get a new pair anytime soon.

“He broke his glasses a couple of weeks ago, and he has to wait a two-year waiting period to get another pair of glasses,” she said.

Last year, the state reduced or eliminated Medicaid funding for prescription drugs, dental care, eyeglasses, chiropractic care, and a variety of other services for adults and nursing home patients.

Pat Comstock, executive director of the Health Care Council of Illinois, said the state can’t keep balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.

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