Fasano, Witkos: “Scrap Budget’s Hospital Plan”

June 18, 2015

HartfordSenate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) are calling for the state to scrap the budget plans negotiated by the governor and legislative Democrats that impact Connecticut hospitals as many hospitals are now bracing for job cuts in response to new burdens in the biennial budget.

“The news that 418 Hartford Healthcare employees across the state in various local hospitals will lose their jobs is a devastating result of the budget passed by the majority. These are good paying, solid health care jobs and we are concerned as to what will happen to the middle class families that will not only lose their jobs, but also will face tax increases because of the state budget. Sadly, we also fear it will not be the last piece of bad news from our hospitals if the budget doesn’t change,” they said.

Officials have said the equivalent of 335 full-time positions will be cut in locations including MidState Medical Center, of Meriden, which will see 29 positions eliminated; the Hospital of Central Connecticut, with campuses in New Britain and Southington, which will lose 64 positions; William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, which will lose 23 positions; and Windham Hospital, which will lose 119 positions.

“The reality is this budget hurts our hospitals. Hurting hospitals hurts patients. The ripple effect is clear. More burdens on our hospitals will push them to reduce services. Reduced services mean job cuts, less business for local vendors, and less access to care. On top of the burdensome hospital tax, the cuts to Medicaid will also create a huge obstacle for seniors and lower income families to access care.

“This week we also heard about clinics closing along the shoreline in East Haven and Branford. So, where will the next cuts be? What communities will fall victim? We are really just beginning to see the impact of this budget, and if nothing is done to help our hospitals we should all be bracing for more hits. Adding more taxes to our hospitals and reducing Medicaid reimbursements by the levels in this budget is clearly a dangerous mix. The state needs to scrap this hospital plan so that lawmakers can come together with a new approach.”