Budget Impact on HealthCare

June 17, 2015

What was feared is now becoming reality. The consequence of tax hikes on our health care system is the eroding of the system. In the last two days alone we have seen two healthcare clinics in the greater New Haven area close eliminating more than 30 jobs and today an announcement from one of the state’s largest healthcare providers that it will lay off more than 300 workers – a direct response to budget cuts.

Executives at Hartford Healthcare told employees that Medicaid payment reductions from the state will amount to more than $100 million over the next five years. This added to the tax hikes on Hospitals in the newly passed state budget are a prescription for disaster.

Back in February, the Office of Policy and Management Secretary was asked why hospitals are being asked to pay more in taxes through the proposed budget. The answer from OPM Secretary Ben Barnes; “Why do you rob banks? That’s where the money is.”

Despite the best efforts of some of us to stop this bad budget from being passed it was narrowly approved by the legislature (by 1 vote in the Senate and 3 votes in the House) and contains many changes that may also negatively impact hospitals and health care providers in our region. Those changes include:

  • Reductions in Medicaid provider rates by $10 million annually
  • Restrictions in the utilization of Urban and Industrial Sites Tax Credits by Hospitals by 50%
  • Increases taxes on CT’s hospitals by $211.8 million annually
  • Enacts a Hospital Provider Tax on ambulatory surgical centers which never had a public hearing resulting in higher healthcare costs

It is critical we find common ground before more jobs are lost. I urge all of you to contact the governor and respectfully ask him to veto this budget. Today it’s Hartford Hospital workers that suffer tomorrow it may be Norwalk, Stamford or Danbury Hospital.

CALL Governor Malloy’s Office at (800) 406-1527