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DeLauro Expresses Disappointment about Rell Proposals for HUSKY Program

February 4, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn. -3) issued the following statement in response to proposals in Governor Jodi M. Rell’s budget that would adversely impact Connecticut HUSKY participants.

“It is unfortunate and disappointing that on the same day as we celebrate President Obama’s signing into law the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization, Governor Rell proposed a budget that would cut back some of the very health care services that Congress fought so hard to preserve and expand.

“There is no question that given the extremely dire budget circumstances facing Connecticut, balancing the budget is no easy task. But now is not the time to balance the state’s budget on the backs of low and middle-income Connecticut residents – many of whom are children. Ultimately, efforts to expand health care coverage will hold little value for our nation’s children and families if access to care continues to erode, whether by chipping away at benefits or increasing co-pays and deductibles.

“I have been fighting and will continue to fight for a significant package of economic recovery funds that will create jobs and improve Connecticut’s economy. I look forward to working with Governor Rell to ensure that Connecticut takes advantage of the highest possible benefit from the work we are doing in the Congress – whether it is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the economic recovery package, or ultimately, comprehensive health care reform.”

Some examples of the Governor’s proposed cuts to the HUSKY program include:

Increases premiums and co-pays for HUSKY families.

Adds unnecessary barriers to enrollment by eliminating rules that allow “self -declaration” of income.

Reduces access to preventive and cost-effective health care for families in HUSKY by reducing benefits

Reduces community-based HUSKY outreach, contrary to the reauthorized SCHIP, which increases funds for outreach efforts

Suspends payments to safety net providers for un-reimbursed costs for pregnant women.