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Move afoot to fight cuts to Connecticut hospitals

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2013 at 10:30 am •  Published: March 2, 2013

Malloy and budget director Ben Barnes both argue that Connecticut's hospitals don't need as much aid for uninsured patients because more people are insured under the state's Low Income Adults program, an expanded Medicaid program, and even more people will be insured as of Jan. 1, 2014, once the new health care exchange — the hallmark of the federal Affordable Care Act — is up and running.

"We know what LIA has cost us. We know that there are about 40,000 more people covered than would be covered in any other state," Malloy said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a state that's doing more than we are, and so we need to adjust to that new system as a state, and I think the industry needs to adjust to that new system as a system."

Barnes has said the administration believes a planned further expansion of Medicaid eligibility and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will decrease the percentage of uninsured to 1 to 2 percent within a few years, adding how the state is still spending $1.6 billion on hospitals.

David Morgan, president and CEO of Johnson Memorial Medical Center, recently urged the legislature's Appropriations Committee to weigh the information they are receiving from Malloy's budget office with what the hospitals are experiencing.

"No amount of spin can change the fact that we lose, and will continue to lose significant dollars on every Medicaid patient we see," Morgan said, referring to how the state's Medicaid reimbursement rates do not cover the hospital's costs. "The plain truth is that the state is spending more money because the Medicaid population is growing. There is no windfall, only continued losses."