Connecticut's 2018 legislative session officially opened on Wednesday. The Governor had released his budget proposals on Monday and used his State of the State address to address policy themes. Good and bad news around health care:
In his address, the Governor affirmed the state's commitment to health care for residents (see video and text of address here) and introduced a bill (Governor's Bill 5039) designed to put some benefits currently guaranteed in federal law into state law and to address the individual mandate issue. It is not clear that this bill includes all the ten essential health benefits currently in federal law but it does provide a vehicle for addressing this Protect Our Care CT priority.
In his budget plan, the Governor proposals mostly limited access to health care for lower-income residents by:
- cutting funding for School Based Health Centers by $645,135 and Community Health Centers by $388,542,
- reducing primary care provider reimbursements in Medicaid by 10%. (The Affordable Care Act significantly increased reimbursement rates for the calendar years 2013 and 2014. Connecticut chose to continue the increases with state funds. The proposal is to reduce that state commitment.)
The Governor did not propose to extend Medicare Savings Program benefits past July 1, 2018 or to address the loss of HUSKY coverage by 13,000 parents scheduled for 2019.