SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Republicans in Springfield are voicing concerns about the significant costs incurred by the state to provide free healthcare to non-citizens.
According to Illinois Senate Minority Deputy Leader Sue Rezin, three years ago, when Democrats proposed Medicaid coverage for undocumented individuals, they assured the state that it would cost $2 million annually. However, the actual cost exceeded this projection within the first month of implementing the program.
Since then, the program has expanded twice, alongside increasing costs. State Senator Chapin Rose attributes these escalating costs to the state's estimated budget deficit.
"Oh shock lo and behold, the amount of money that we've been able to find so far. And by the way, talk about lack of transparency, you can't find all the spending, but never mind that for a minute. You're over a billion dollars in spend on non-citizens. Billion-dollar debt, over a billion dollars on non-citizens. Are they correlated? Of course, they're correlated," Chapin said.
The Governor's Office of Management and Budget projects a $422 million net budget surplus for 2024, down from a previous forecast of a $1.4 billion surplus. Additionally, for 2025, they anticipate an $891 million deficit.