SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois lawmakers are warning of a fiscal emergency as the costs to provide healthcare to foreign nationals is estimated to cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion next year.

According to a report by Health Care and Family Services, in 2024 there will be an additional 108,400 undocumented immigrants needing health care, a number that exceeds current estimates, according to The Center Square.

Current estimates place the number of undocumented immigrants living in Illinois at over 500,000, with nearly 4,000 over the age of 65.

State Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) said there are no federal match dollars for treating immigrants as part of the state’s Health Benefits or Immigrant Adults program, leaving Illinois to pick up the tab.

“The HFS report shows a dramatic growth in undocumented immigrant participation, which will require nearly a billion dollars in general revenue funds to support this program in fiscal year 2024,” Hammond said on Thursday.

Illinois introduced the program in March 2022. Covered services include doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, physical and occupational therapy, mental health, substance abuse disorder services, dental and vision services, and prescription drugs.

Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) said he had introduced a measure that would place a moratorium on the healthcare program. “We have to push the pause button. We cannot accept any further enrollments into this program,” he said.

Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), however, cast doubt on the report’s findings. “Republican lawmakers overreacted to preliminary financial projections related to the cost of the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults Program,” he said. “The enrollment number in this program only reflects a great need for healthcare options in underserved communities.”