Connecticut Republicans, hospital execs call for special session on cuts

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HARTFORD — Connecticut Republicans and hospital executives have joined together to ask the General Assembly to intervene and prevent $63.4 million in new cuts to state Medicaid payments to their health care facilities.

Jennifer Jackson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Hospital Association, on Tuesday said the reduction will lead to a $130 million decline in federal reimbursement. Coupled with the cuts already in the new state budget, Jackson predicted there will be employee layoffs.

Last week, Gov. Dan Malloy’s office announced it is planning more than $102 million in budget cuts to keep the new $20 billion budget in balance. Malloy’s budget director said recent stock market losses have cut into state revenues.

Senate and House Republicans joined hospital officials on Tuesday in calling for a special legislative session to address the state’s budget situation.

Sen. Len Fasano the Republican minority leader of the state Senate, said, “Whether you can blame it on the stock market, which may or may not be the case, or you blame it on economic problems that they use, which are no longer in tune with today, I don’t care what it is. But what I do care about is obviously we’re running into a problem.”

Here is Malloy’s office’s statement on the press conference:

It’s pretty clear what we saw at this press conference – House and Senate Republicans, standing with CEO’s, asking taxpayers to subsidize multimillion-dollar salaries. That’s their message, that they want the residents of this state to fund tens of millions of dollars in executive compensation. The hospital industry made hundreds of millions of dollars in profit last year, with executive teams making money hand over fist. Put simply, while we’re taking smart steps to ensure budget balance and plan for the long term, some obviously want taxpayer dollars to fund massive CEO salaries without any doing anything to make care delivery more efficient and cost-effective.

 

After reading that statement, Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides released a response condemning the governor:

This is another diversionary tactic used by the governor to avoid having a real conversation about the damaging impact of his budget cuts. His millions in rescissions will hurt the elderly, the disabled and the poor, and threaten health care quality and access. We can understand why the governor is hung up on creating a distraction from the real issues. If the governor really cared so much about CEO compensation, he wouldn’t have given $52 million to a hedge fund in a taxpayer funded billionaire bailout. He’s okay funding a sweetheart deal for a multibillionaire, but not okay supporting our hospitals and the crucial services they provide to our needy communities? Stop using plays from your ‘cut and paste’ political handbook Governor, and start listening to what our health care providers are saying.