Legislative Session Update
The CT Legislature adjourned its regular session on Wednesday (June 7). Many bills on important topics were not acted on. One major item that must be resolved is the state budget for the two years starting July 1, 2017. The Legislature will meet in Special Session to set a state budget once there is an agreement among the Governor and legislative leadership. Work on a budget proposal will take place over the next month, with the hope that legislators will be convened to adopt a budget by July 1. Bills that were not passed but that relate to spending or revenue could be revived as part of the budget.
Two major issues of interest to Protect Our Care CT:
- SB 586, An Act Expanding Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents, did not pass. The Senate approved the bill unanimously but it was not voted on in the House of Representatives. The bill was designed to maintain the essential preventive reproductive health benefits, as defined by the ACA, under commercial insurance. This would include access to contraceptives without co-pays. It also included ensuring access to a number of vital prenatal screenings and childhood immunizations.
- Maintaining Existing Income Eligibility Levels for Parents in the HUSKY/Medicaid program: The proposal to lower eligibility levels from 155% to 138% of the federal poverty level is part of the on-going budget negotiations. Dropping the eligibility level would affect 9,500 parents. Experience shows that these parents are very unlikely to buy insurance through Access Health CT.