State legislators need to hear from you to oppose cuts to hospitals.
As you know, our hospital faces 23.8 million over three years – including $4.1 million in our current fiscal year – in cuts over the next two years if the state budget, now moving through the legislature, passes. The budget proposal voted out by the Appropriations Committee still contains $550 million in cuts to Connecticut hospitals. We are now in the last phase of the legislative session, when both chambers will debate and vote on a final budget package to send to the Governor.
Hospitals have developed a package of workable, practical solutions to improve quality and access to excellent, safe care while reducing costs for patients, the state, and hospitals.
Instead of $550 million in cuts, hospitals are offering actionable steps to achieve upfront cost savings, sustained improvements in productivity through the biennium and beyond, and a phase out of the hospital Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) funding and provider tax over five years. The plan holds hospitals accountable for reducing the cost of care, while taking maximum advantage of federal funding. To read more about hospitals’ proposed solutions, click on the link at the right side of this page.
We are working to promote these solutions, and we need to gather as much support as possible in a short timeframe.
We need your help. Click here to be taken to an electronic advocacy page that will allow you to simply and easily compose a message to legislators and the Governor. The system will prompt you to provide your contact information. We ask that you give your home and work address, so that your message will reach legislators in both places.
If you know of anyone who should also see this message and write on behalf of Connecticut hospitals, please forward the link. We want as many people as possible to reach their legislators on this issue of critical importance. Together, we remain strong and united in the fight to preserve hospital funding.
Some of the details of the budget plan:
- Cuts in payments hospitals receive for treating uninsured and underinsured patients will grow even worse under this plan. (This is called Disproportionate Share, or DSH, funding. Remember that it’s to help defray hospitals’ losses for caring for the very poorest patients.)
- In the current state budget, three months of those payments were already wiped out. That was a $2.7 million hit for Backus. For us, the governor proposes another $5.4 million slash in the state’s next fiscal year, and an additional $10.8 million cut the year after. This is simply staggering.
- Other cuts to state funding add about another million dollars to next year’s tax cut; in all, Backus faces combined $23,855,176 in cuts through Fiscal Year 2015.
- Still more cuts are proposed for Medicaid eligibility — tightening the standard to 133% of the federal poverty guidelines, the bare minimum allowed. This will simply mean more people losing insurance, and coming to the emergency room for care.
What this means to Backus
At Backus, we have done everything we can to develop a sustainable model of health care for eastern Connecticut, in partnership with many others. This budget plan places us at the tipping point — dramatically altering our region’s safety net, affecting programs, services and those who provide them.
The governor said he wants to make a “more sustainable future for Connecticut,” but the future he is creating for our system of care is absolutely unsustainable.
Please join us in urging our lawmakers to oppose this harmful plan.
So many of the state’s policy priorities — from providing good jobs, to protecting the safety net, to providing an increased focus on mental health services — are part of what we do every day at Backus.
Make your voice heard. Contact your legislator today, because if this budget plan is passed, eastern Connecticut’s safety net will disappear. That means the real human toll — and the cost to our state in the long term — will be incalculable.