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Rauner calls for $1.5 billion cut in Medicaid; Illinois Democrats say they'll fight reductions

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to cut spending on Medicaid by $1.5 billion next year.

Rauner released his budget proposal Wednesday. His budget office says hospitals and nursing homes would see a 12 percent Medicaid rate reduction under the governor's spending plan.

The Republican also wants to eliminate spending on some Medicaid services for adults that aren't mandatory, such as dental care and podiatry.

Democrats who control the Legislature have said they will push back against severe cuts to Medicaid, which covers health care costs for more than 3 million lower-income Illinois adults and children. They say slashing spending will cost Illinois more in the long run.

Illinois Hospital Association President Maryjane Wurth says cutting rates to hospitals would hurt the economy. She calls the Medicaid proposal "drastic."

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