State Legislators, Leaders From Local Hospitals Stand In Opposition To Proposed Cuts

May 13, 2013
Senator Kelly speaks about how proposed cuts to hospitals would affect local families and jobs at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Shelton on  Monday, May 13th.

Senator Kelly speaks about how proposed cuts to hospitals would affect local families and jobs at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Shelton on Monday, May 13th.

Shelton – State Senator Kevin C. Kelly (R-21) and State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113), Laura Hoydick (R-120) and Larry Miller, (R-122) joined Dr. Stuart G. Marcus, President of St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Mr. William Jennings, President and CEO of Bridgeport Hospital today to stand in opposition to proposed cuts to Connecticut hospitals in the Governor’s proposed budget which would have a significant impact on patient care and healthcare workers in the region.

At a press conference today at the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Urgent Care Center in Shelton, the legislators and hospital presidents outlined how in a span of only four years, hospitals have gone from gaining $50 million in FY12 to losing $268 million in FY15. What started as a mechanism to help the state and hospitals has turned out to be a tax increase with the state retaining almost all of the tax revenue instead of returning it to hospitals. In addition, hospitals will begin seeing reductions in federal Medicare dollars starting next year.

“The Governor’s proposed cuts to hospitals will reduce healthcare quality and access, eliminate jobs we need and shred a safety net which many people depend upon, especially those families who do not qualify for Medicaid and have no insurance,” said Senator Kelly. “I oppose the Governor’s proposed cuts to healthcare, and I am working to keep these good paying jobs and hospitals in our community by reversing this poor public policy choice.”

“This cut proposed by Governor Malloy could have a significant long-term negative impact on the ability of our local medical facilities to provide timely, critical care to patients in our region,” said Rep. Perillo. “This tremendous drop in funding can have no other result than to compromise the ability of our healthcare providers and emergency responders to provide our area with needed medical services. We stand with our local hospitals today to oppose the dangerous course the administration is setting us on.”

“The state budget shouldn’t be balanced on the backs of our healthcare providers, or at the expense of quality care across Connecticut,” said Rep. Hoydick. “We are collectively calling on the administration to recognize the need to adequately fund our hospitals and to honor the commitment they made just a couple of years ago to make them whole in the state budget.”

Dr. Stuart Marcus, President of St. Vincent's Medical Center, speaks about the impact these cuts would have on community healthcare.
Dr. Stuart Marcus, President of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, speaks about the impact these cuts would have on community healthcare.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that all areas of the economy are having substantial difficulty in recovering from the recession,” said Rep. Miller. “But it is inexcusable to place into jeopardy the quality of care and patient service at our local hospitals by shifting funding away from them to satisfy other state budget items.”

“At this juncture, it is imperative that legislators and their constituents realize the devastating impact on patient care at our hospitals that will result from Governor Malloy’s proposed budget cuts,” said Dr. Marcus. “We ask state residents to express their opposition and legislators to vote against these cuts which amount to a huge tax on hospitals, a tax far greater than that imposed on for-profit corporations.”

“The proposed state budget cuts to hospital reimbursement would have a devastating impact on Connecticut hospitals,” said Mr. Jennings. “In this changing healthcare environment, we need to find ways to balance the interest of our safety nets with the state’s budget shortfall. We need targeted reforms that will create a long-term solution to rising healthcare costs. It is critical that the proposed cuts are removed from the state budget.”

In December of 2012 (FY13), faced with a current-year deficit, the legislature worked on adjustments to the Governor’s Deficit Mitigation Plan. The largest part of the plan was a reduction in funding to hospitals. Governor Malloy proposed cutting hospitals by $113 million. Republicans fought during negotiations to reduce that cut by $10 million – to $103 million. In his proposed budget for FY 14 and FY15, Governor Malloy has proposed cuts of $207.4 million and $343.1 million in each of the fiscal years, respectively. Cuts are applied to the state’s Disproportionate Share – Hospital (DSH) program, as well as Medicaid.