Republicans Question Governor’s Budget Cuts Threatening Connecticut Hospitals

September 22, 2015

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Lawmakers call again for special session to revisit budget

Hartford – Senate & House Republicans are standing in support of Connecticut hospitals as they oppose Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s $103 million in new budget cuts, including $63.4 million in reduced Medicaid payments to hospitals. The result of these cuts would increase hospitals’ tax liability to the state by over $240 million between fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2016, raising their state tax burden to almost $500 million annually.

Republican lawmakers are calling for a special session to reject the governor’s proposed cuts and make broad changes to the state budget.

“The governor’s reckless cuts directly threaten the financial survival of many Connecticut hospitals. These are not small trims here and there; these are changes that will put incredible strain on hospitals, threatening health care access and quality and most likely hurting Connecticut’s most vulnerable including seniors, children, lower income families and those with mental health needs,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “As Republicans have warned, the state must take action to address future deficits. But sadly, these are not the right actions. Cutting from Medicaid will hurt the most vulnerable and increase the burdens on hospitals of all sizes. These cuts, paired with cuts to mental health care and other social services, show a lack of vision and inability to prioritize for the greatest and most vital community needs.”

“While the governor is limited in what he can cut without the support of the legislature, together in a special session we can rethink this budget and how to trim waste. We can work together to protect health care and social services,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby). “It’s not enough to just say you ‘oppose’ these cuts if you have the power to do something about it. The governor and majority leaders should take action together and call a special session so we can all work together to identify where the real waste is and rethink the way our state budgets.”

“Governor Malloy’s unilateral cuts to our hospitals are deeply troubling,” said Senator Clark Chapin (R-New Milford). “Small hospitals, which are all we have in the rural parts of the state, are going to be the most harmed by reckless budgeting. I am joining Sen. Fasano and Rep. Klarides to call for a special legislative session to find a consensus alternative solution to the budget deficit—one that does not harm vital healthcare systems in our state.”

The lawmakers also pointed to the disproportionate negative impact hospitals have seen as a result of the original budget passed this year, which has compounded as a result of additional cuts. The Republican “Blueprint for Prosperity” would have significantly reduced the burdens imposed by the Democrat budget and the governor’s new cuts.

Republican leaders also noted that the impact of these budget cuts on Connecticut hospitals is greater than the original draconian cuts proposed by the governor in February.

“The governor’s original cuts were broadly criticized and rejected by legislators on both sides of the aisle. As a result, some Medicaid cuts were reduced and money was restored for community hospitals in the legislature’s final budget. Now, just a few months later, those agreements and promises are being unilaterally undone by the governor,” said Klarides.

“Lawmakers have a responsibility to protect our hospitals, including the patients, employees and communities who rely upon them. The legislature also has a responsibility to defend the policy decisions it made just a few months ago and fulfill its promises,” said Fasano.

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