Gov. J.B. Pritzker has vetoed a bill could have limited his ability to make changes to Illinois’ Medicaid program.

S.B. 2026, which passed the Senate 56-0 and the House 75-41, aimed to control how Illinois uses its Medicaid dollars by preventing the state from applying for federal waivers that could potentially reduce or eliminate coverage required under the Affordable Care Act or other medical assistance programs.

“I do not anticipate any circumstances in which my administration would pursue waivers to limit Illinoisans’ access to federal programs or benefits,” Pritzker wrote in a veto message. “Nonetheless, it’s critical to retain our flexibility to innovate and be responsive to the evolving health care needs of the people of the state.”

Pritzker has said he’s interested in exploring a public option that would allow Illinois residents to buy into the state’s Medicaid coverage for the poor.

Expanding coverage likely would require the state to apply for federal waivers.

Illinois received an 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver from the Trump administration in May 2018 to focus on behavioral health. As of July 16, 40 states had 50 waivers, the majority of which are used for behavioral health services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Gov. JB Pritzker vetoes Medicaid bill which would have limited his power – Crain’s Chicago Business