Some state services for Illinois’ elderly, disabled in limbo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Thousands of elderly and disabled Illinois residents could lose state-backed care services under a proposal pushed by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration.

His office argues that changing the eligibility rules for long-term care through the Medicaid program could save the cash-strapped state at least $127 million. Opponents say the cuts are nearly double that and question the savings, saying hospital visits could rise.

It’s a process lawmakers approved in 2012 and those potentially affected have less severe problems. It comes as Rauner and the Democratic-controlled Legislature remain deadlocked on a budget.

Springfield resident Mary Schnell says having her husband, who has dementia, at a care facility for several hours a week gives her a break.

Public comment on the issue closes Saturday. Then it’s up to state and federal officials.