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Jim Parker

Seniors brace for cuts to Illinois drug program

Seniors brace for cuts to Illinois drug program

Joyce Pennington opened a letter from the state recently and got some unexpected news: At the end of this month, she will be dropped from an Illinois program that helps pay for prescription medications.

The 62-year-old Midlothian woman, who has severe lung and heart disease, broke into tears. "I thought, wait a minute, I've worked my whole life and now that I need some help they're treating me like this?" she said.

Nearly 43,000 low-income seniors and people with disabilities are finding themselves in similar straits as they learn they no longer qualify for Illinois Cares Rx, a popular program whose funding was slashed in half, to $53.7 million from $107.4...