Medicaid expansion discussed by Illinois lawmakers

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SPRINGFIELD -  As Governor Pat Quinn is laying out a massive budget that hinges on making a temporary individual income tax increase permanent, Illinois Democrats are quietly discussing expanding Medicaid spending.  In 2012, dental care and podiatry services were eliminated as a way to save $1.6 billion in Medicaid spending, but now lawmakers are considering restoring them.

Elsewhere in the Capitol there are talks of spending cuts.  In order to avoid large reductions in education and health care spending, Quinn is lobbying to extend what had been billed as a temporary income tax increase.  

Representative Greg Harris says restoring cuts depends on whether there's money to pay for it.  Harris also says without the services, people go to emergency rooms, where treatment is more expensive.  

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