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posted: 3/21/2012 6:12 PM

State Senate to meet on Medicaid options

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  • Senate President John Cullerton

    Senate President John Cullerton
    Associated Press file photo

Associated Press

The search for ways to cut Medicaid spending in Illinois is heating up. Senate President John Cullerton is calling the full Senate together Thursday to discuss Medicaid and hear how other states are reining in costs.

The Chicago Democrat said Wednesday he's calling the unusual meeting because it's crucial for Democrats and Republicans to learn about Medicaid together and to cooperate on solutions.

An expert from the National Conference of State Legislatures will speak to the senators Thursday.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has recommended cutting $2.7 billion from Medicaid. Sen. Heather Steans, also a Democrat, said Wednesday that cutting that much in one year "is going to be a real stretch."

Medicaid covers nearly 3 million Illinoisans and costs $14 billion a year in state and federal funds.

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