Join fight to restore state cuts to hospitals

September 23, 2015

Please read today’s Bristol Press Editorial – thank you!

Bristol Press Editorial

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, responding to a projected drop in state revenue, has announced cuts to Medicaid funding for 29 state hospitals by $63.5 million as a way to balance the state budget.

Locally, the Hospital of Central Connecticut, which includes the New Britain campus and Bradley Memorial in Southington, will lose $9.6 million and Bristol Hospital $5.8 million in this newest round of cuts.

These amounts are clearly unsustainable if those hospitals are to be able to continue their mission of providing health care to every citizen.

“With nearly one in five Connecticut residents on Medicaid, withdrawing even more funding from the state’s obligation is outrageous.” Jennifer Jackson, Connecticut Hospital Association chief executive, said. “It puts a tremendous additional strain on health care providers, who already provide services with reimbursement that is nowhere near the actual cost of delivering that care.”

Now, the Connecticut Hospital Association is encouraging us to write letters to the governor and state legislators asking that the funding be restored. The message: Add your signature to a letter protesting the cuts at www.carewecancounton.org/take-action/ .

“The governor’s announced huge cuts to Medicaid will hurt patients, hospitals, communities, and our economy. Adequate funding is necessary to care for the most vulnerable people in our state,” the letter says. “Please intervene immediately and reverse these cuts and protect your constituents and communities.”

Certainly we support this action — and, we’d like to point out, so do our local legislators.

When these cuts were originally proposed during the budget-writing process, the men and women who represent us in the legislature worked hard to restore them in a special session at the end of June. And already they are speaking out against the most recent cuts.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey predicted that these renewed cuts will very likely impact the delivery of health care services. Senate minority leader Len Fasano termed the cuts “a disaster” and called for a special legislative session.

Now what they need is our support.

Yes, it’s important to maintain control over the state budget but not at the expense of our hospitals and our neediest citizens.

Support these leaders as they tell Gov. Malloy: Cut, if you must, but cut somewhere else!