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updated: 5/28/2013 7:24 AM

Lawmakers debate Medicaid expansion in Springfield

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois lawmakers are debating a key part of President Barack Obama's health care law.

House members began floor discussion Monday on a complex plan that would, among other things, expand Medicaid to cover low-income adults who don't have children at home. The Senate has approved the expansion and Gov. Pat Quinn is in favor.

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Democratic Rep. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago is a sponsor. She says it's a historic move for Illinois. Up to half a million uninsured Illinoisans would be newly eligible for coverage, with the federal government picking up the bill the first three years.

But Republican Rep. Patti Bellock of Hinsdale questions future costs, particularly with Illinois' financial troubles. She wants to defer the decision until after federal debt ceiling talks.

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