By Rosana Garcia
The 2016 legislative session is in full swing and the conversation is dominated by the budget. Despite adopting a budget in the 2015 session, 2016 has already proven to be a year crowded out by budget matters, due to a revenue shortfall, as announced by Governor Malloy on opening day of the session.
The session will be short: it opened February 3 and closes May 4. This doesn’t leave much time for any movement on issues other than the budget. In a short session year, individual senators and representatives cannot raise bills—bills must be raised by committees. While the deadline for raising bills in committee growing near, it is too soon to tell what issues will rise to the top of the heap.
So while there are health care related issues being discussed, including concerns about the impact of health system consolidation, Medicaid/HUSKY, the all-payers claims database (APCD), and more, the budget may just knock all other issues aside this year, like a bull in a china shop.
Despite uncertainty about legislation, there’s still plenty happening in health care in Connecticut:
- Concerns about Windham Hospital, post integration into Hartford HealthCare in 2009
- Measures to improve health care system transparency for consumers (Here’s our take)
- Prospect Medical Holdings proposed acquisition of Waterbury Hospital and the Eastern Connecticut Health Network (Rockville and Manchester Hospitals)
- And other issues: See Five Stories That Can Make 2016 a Big Year in Health Care (CT Mirror)
By the way, you can always track the budget with the CT Mirror, and take a deeper look at bills by subject with this handy TrendCT tool.