Rauner vetoes bill to mandate hepatitis C testing

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation aimed at fighting an epidemic of contagious liver disease, saying it would cost the state money it doesn’t have.

The legislation required doctors to offer hepatitis C tests to patients born between 1945 and 1965.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the tests since 2012. The Illinois Hepatitis C Task Force also recommended it.

The state’s largest doctors group urged Rauner to veto the measure. The Illinois State Medical Society said doctors don’t need lawmakers telling them to follow guidelines.

In a Friday veto message, Rauner says the requirement would cost Illinois’ Medicaid agency and the state health insurance plan added money during a budget crisis.

He says it also could expose doctors to costly litigation.