Restore Medicaid event re-energizes advocates at the Capitol

By Rosana G. Ferraro |

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On a warm Wednesday afternoon, Medicaid advocates from different organizations came together ahead of a public hearing at the Capitol to fight back against cuts to Medicaid programs in the state budget.

In the 2018-2019 state budget, there are severe cuts to Medicaid programs – and advocates want the cuts restored.  Four major cuts advocates talked about:

  • Dropping the income eligibility limits for HUSKY A – which will mean that over 13,000 parents and caregivers will lose their insurance coverage
  • Dropping the income eligibility limits for the Medicare Savings Program, which helps low-income elderly individuals and people with disabilities cover costs that Medicare doesn’t pay for – 113,000 low-income elderly individuals and people with disabilities will lose some or all of their financial help after June 30, 2018
  • Capping adult dental benefits at $1,000 – which means over 16,000 adults lose comprehensive dental coverage, and
  • Cutting primary care provider rates – which may mean fewer providers participate in Medicaid, making it harder for Medicaid members to access care

DSC00079Kathy Flaherty, Executive Director of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project, MC’ed the event, which opened with Elaine Kolb, a disability rights activity, singing “My Medicaid Matters” (to the tune of “Battle Hym of the Republic”).

Melissa Marshall, of the Connecticut Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance, explained how we got here, telling the story of last year’s fight against these terrible budget cuts.

Sheldon Toubman, of New Haven Legal Assistance, talked about how the Connecticut Medicaid program has improved – and how these cuts jeopardize the health of thousands of Connecticut residents.

Two women, Kim Hart, whose family relies on HUSKY/Medicaid coverage, and Juliet Meyer, who relies on the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), told their stories to the group.

 

Ann Pratt, of Connecticut Citizen Action Group, discussed the testifying process for the upcoming public hearing, and other opportunities for action in the 2018 legislative session, including Health Care Action Days at the Legislature planned for March 14 and April 18 (you should join us!).

dsc00171.jpgRevitalized, re-energized, and creating a human billboard that said Restore Medicaid, the group headed over to the Appropriations Committee public hearing to testify for restoration of Medicaid cuts in the state budget.

This is just one event in the long fight to make sure that HUSKY / Medicaid programs are restored and stay strong for the residents of Connecticut.  Thank you to all the organizations, advocates, activists, individuals impacted, and allies who came together for this event.

Make sure to sign up at Protect Our Care CT to get alerts about upcoming Health Care Action Days at the Capitol, and much more!

Press:

Activists keep the pressure on over state healthcare cuts, by Emilie Munson, Feb. 21, 2018, CT Post

Learn more with fact sheets from the event:

Video:

Check out the Connecticut Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance’s Facebook live videos here & here

Check out the Appropriations Committee public hearing where advocates and activists testified for restoration of HUSKY / Medicaid cuts (CT-N Connecticut Network)

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