Agencies who care for some of Connecticut's most vulnerable citizens are still waiting for the state to increase its Medicaid reimbursement rate.
“The relationship that you grow with the client. It’s just not factory work. This is not piece work,” said Patty Newton Foster of Newton Foster Home Care Agency.
Newton Foster says this is the care economy.
“These are the people’s lives and I beg of you to help us help others,” Newton Foster said.
“Being able to staff our clients has been the main issue of concern for all care providers throughout the entire United States, and Connecticut is no different,” said Jonah Francis of Pansy Homecare.
Francis says they want to be able to increase worker pay.
“Even though things are not what they were last year, as we all know it, we are still in the midst of what we call the caregiver crisis,” he says.
“If we don’t have quality labor to deliver those services and that labor be adequately compensated, guess what? Our human services suffer,” said Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly.
Kelly says the governor needs to release the funding.
“To know that our state appropriated a 1.7-percent increase last June and yet today those dollars have still not hit the street is infuriating,” Kelly said.
Gov. Ned Lamont says he’s open to releasing the funding.
“If they feel comfortable, let me do it by executive order. I can do it today and get the money out the door very quickly,” Lamont said.
Lamont has been hesitant to do things through executive power.
“I’ve been sparing about using the executive order, but if they feel that strongly I do too and I'm happy to do it,” he said.