CTHPP testimony opposing Governor’s budget cuts to Medicaid

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Testimony to the Appropriations Committee at Friday’s hearing from the CT Health Policy Project focused on the Governor’s cuts to Medicaid. Topping the list of concerns is the proposal to cut coverage for 34,000 working parents and pregnant women. The last time CT cut HUSKY parents in 2003, the impact was devastating to many CT working families. Our report, In Their Own Words,chronicled the impact on eight typical HUSKY working families including Elizabeth from New Haven. Elizabeth worked full-time but as a long-term “temporary” employee and so, was not qualified for health benefits. When she lost HUSKY, she was no longer able to afford the medication that was controlling her high blood pressure. A few months later she had a costly heart attack, and consequently re-qualified for HUSKY as medically needy but only for six months. After the six months ended, her coverage ended again, and she could no longer afford both the original medication and others she needed to heal. Within a month she had another, very serious heart attack. She again qualified for HUSKY and, thankfully, she was still covered when the state restored funding the next year. That year was far more costly for the state than it would have been to just keeping Elizabeth continually covered, but the damage done to her heart and to her family will last.