Federal Judge Says Illinois Must Fund Medicaid in Cook County

A federal judge says payments to Cook County Medicaid providers must continue even without a state budget.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow ordered the payments Thursday after advocates for Medicaid recipients brought the matter to court.

The Chicago Tribune reports Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration tried to avoid payments. It asked providers of the federal-state health program for poor and disabled people to continue offering care during the impasse and to wait for reimbursement.

The first-term Republican governor and Democrat-controlled Legislature remain deadlocked on a July 1 fiscal year budget.

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and AIDS Legal Council of Chicago brought the case and say the effects could ripple beyond Cook County.