Sides await judge’s decision on Illinois Medicaid payments

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CHICAGO (AP) _ A federal judge in Chicago is expected to rule on an issue highlighting one of the nation’s longest running state financial crises.

Illinois is heading into its third year without a budget. And Judge Joan Lefkow (LEF’-koh) has said she will rule this week about whether to issue an order instructing the state to pay more of its health care bills.

Lawyers for Medicaid recipients and others affected by the unpaid bills requested the order as part of a civil case in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

One of the lawyers, Thomas Yates, told reporters Tuesday that a new court order would underline that payments to health care providers should be a high priority. He says people shouldn’t suffer because politicians can’t agree on a budget.