Report Says Gov. Malloy's Medicaid Plan Will Hurt Poor Families
A new report says Governor Dannel Malloy's plan to save the state money by reducing the number of people on Medicaid will harm low-income families.
As it stands parents with children on Medicaid are eligible for health coverage, too, provided their income is no higher than about $40,000 for a family of three. Malloy wants to reduce that, making the cutoff around $28,000. He also wants to reduce coverage for pregnant women. But he doesn't want them to be without insurance -- he simply wants them to now buy it through the exchange set up through the Affordable Care Act.
Mark Bergman, the governor's spokesman, says the state should be praised for having covered this population when there were no other options.
"Now there's an option, and we're in tough budget times in the state of Connecticut and certain things that...we could have afforded in years past we can't. And there's a place for these folks to go to get affordable coverage. They might have to pay a little more," Bergman said.
In fact, costs could increase on average $1,900 for the 34,000 people affected. That's according to a report written by researchers at the University of Massachusetts and issued by the Connecticut Health Foundation. The report also estimates that between 7,000 and 10,000 people just won't get health insurance through the exchange because it will be too expensive or unmanageable.
Sharon Langer is an advocate with Connecticut Voices for Children. She says the governor's proposal is simply shifting the cost of the health insurance from the state budget to the those who can barely afford it.
"Connecticut has been in the forefront of expanding coverage to low income children and parents and pregnant women and this would be really a rollback, a setback in what we've been able to do," Langer said.
The governor's budget is before the state legislature.