04/19/2012 05:53 pm ET

Quinn Wants Deep Cuts, $1-A-Pack Cigarette Tax Hike For Medicaid

Gov. Pat Quinn today outlined his plan to overhaul the state's health care system for the poor, an approach that includes a $1-a-pack hike in cigarette taxes coupled with deep cuts that will sharply curtail services.

The governor repeatedly has said the state must find $2.7 billion in savings from the Medicaid the Medicaid program or risk its collapse under billions of dollars in debt.

Quinn proposed $1.35 billion in program cuts and reductions, which range from eliminating a discount prescription program from seniors to limiting eligibility that would remove thousands of patients from the insurance rolls. He also wants to slash rates for hospitals and other health care providers, which he says will save $675 million.

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