by Kristina Rasmussen
It used to be that "Medicaid reform" was only ever mentioned in the context of growing the program and adding more people to its rolls. Now "Medicaid reform" is on everyone's lips in regards to controlling the quickly ballooning costs that threaten the fiscal solvency of our state.
A key step to getting a handle on these liabilities is obtaining reliable information on how reform legislation will actually impact the Medicaid program before those reforms are passed. This way, if proposed reforms don't deliver enough savings, legislators can push for more changes.
Thankfully, a measure backed by the Institute and advanced by Sen. Pam Althoff passed a key milestone yesterday when it passed unanimously out of the Senate Executive Committee. This is good news.
Sen. Althoff's bill would require that every bill amending the Illinois Public Aid Code that is passed out of committee get a brief explanatory statement that includes a reliable spending/savings estimate, as well as the projected costs and benefits associated with the implementation of each provision in the bill.
The Institute has long championed fiscal note reform (check out our 2012 update to our 2010 study). While this change only affects Medicaid legislation, it's a great step to getting better information on spending decisions before they're made.
In other news, Sen. Kirk Dillard's bill to create the Board of Legislative Repealers passed committee yesterday as well. It authorizes the Board to adopt rules establishing the criteria to be used to determine whether a State law, regulation or other governing instrument is unreasonable, unduly burdensome, duplicative, or onerous, or conflicts with another law, regulation or governing instrument.
We've previously endorsed the concept of an Office of the Repealer to identify and thereby help get rid of outdated and conflicting laws.