Governor’s deficit mitigation plan includes cuts to medical interpreters

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Today the Governor announced her plan to address CT’s looming $268 million state budget deficit. Her plan cuts $1.175 million in previously approved funding for medical interpretation services in the Medicaid program. The CT Health Foundation reports that 22,000 people with limited English proficiency were enrolled in CT’s Medicaid program in 2003 and that communication is critical to effective health care service delivery. Her plan also diverts $14.5 million in anticipated savings from the state employee health plan from addressing the state’s unfunded liability to her deficit reduction plan. Her plan includes an expectation of $2 million in increased Medicaid Disproportionate Share (DSH) federal funding for hospitals and $157 million from a settlement with the federal government of rates paid to Dept. of Developmental Services intermediate care facilities and group homes. The Governor does not recommend new taxes, layoffs, or accessing the Rainy Day Fund but does include a Tax Amnesty to increase revenues. These cuts follow cutbacks directed by the Governor earlier this year including a hiring freeze. The Governor plans to call the General Assembly into session on November 24th to consider her plan to address the deficit.
Ellen Andrews