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Medicaid expansion debate ahead in Illinois House

Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:09 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – The Illinois House is gearing up to consider a key part of President Barack Obama's health care law, an expansion of Medicaid that would provide coverage to low-income adults who don't have children at home.

House Democrats say failure to expand Medicaid would lead to unintended consequences. A Cook County program would be in jeopardy. And Illinois employers would be exposed to tax penalties of up to $106 million.

Republicans say they have concerns about future costs.

Thousands of uninsured Illinois residents would be newly eligible for coverage, with the federal government paying for their care the first three years.

The state Senate has approved the expansion and Gov. Pat Quinn supports it. A House committee is scheduled to hear it Tuesday.

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