Appropriations passes a budget

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The budget approved by the Appropriations Committee restores many of Governor Rell’s proposed cuts to health care programs. The committee did not agree to the Governor’s proposed co-pays and premiums on HUSKY families; imposition of premiums would jeopardize significant federal stimulus funding. Also to ensure CT gets new federal funding, the committee rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate self-determination of income for HUSKY applicants. The legislature restored HUSKY eligibility for legal immigrants that the Governor proposed to eliminate; the federal SCHIP reauthorization bill grants the state a 65% match on those costs. The committee did not agree to the Governor’s proposal to eliminate prenatal care for undocumented immigrants, eliminate funding for medical interpreters, or to eliminate vision and transportation services for SAGA clients. The committee provided funding for smoking cessation treatment under Medicaid that was not in the Governor’s budget. The committee provided funds to implement the family planning waiver; those funds would be 90% matched by the federal government. The committee did not agree to the Governor’s proposal to eliminate all but emergency dental care for adults in Medicaid and SAGA, however they did implement utilization review for those services. The committee did agree to weaken the Medicaid and SAGA medical necessity definition. The committee agreed to some of the Governor’s proposed pharmacy cuts, but not others. The legislature took money out of the Governor’s proposal for her Charter Oak Plan to reflect lower than expected enrollment. The budget restores funding for the Office of Health Care Advocate. A more detailed analysis will be coming.
Ellen Andrews