Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's first budget proposal seeks $1.5 billion in cuts to Medicaid. The way he gets there shows he's willing to go toe-to-toe with three powerful business lobbies: retail pharmacies, nursing homes and hospitals.
The Republican wants to reinstate cuts temporarily made to Medicaid in 2012 and later restored by the Legislature and his Democratic predecessor, Gov. Pat Quinn. That would eliminate -- again -- optional Medicaid services such as adult dental care and podiatry.
But Rauner surprised stakeholders by pushing further. He's proposing nearly $1 billion in payment cuts to health care institutions that traditionally have been able to fight them off.
Hospitals are a main target, shouldering $735 million in cuts. The Illinois Hospital Association says that's a 13 percent reduction that would hurt the economy