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State

Illinois Democrats discussing Medicaid expansion

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Democrats are quietly discussing expanding Medicaid spending at the same time Gov. Pat Quinn is laying out a doomsday budget.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Newspapers in Illinois reports lawmakers are considering restoring dental care and podiatry services that were eliminated in 2012 as a way to save $1.6 billion in Medicaid spending.

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

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago says restoring cuts depends on whether there's money to pay for it.

But he says without the services, people go to emergency rooms, where treatment is more expensive.

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