Opponents Call to Restore Funding to Medicare, Medicaid Programs

Those affected by cuts to the Medicare Savings (MSP) and Husky A Medicaid programs joined together on Thursday to demand the cuts be fully restored.

About 113,000 seniors and people with disabilities are expected to lose MSP coverage unless the legislature acts.

"This program is a lifeline for so many people across the state. It is a lifeline," Ann Pratt with CT Citizen Action Group said.

Organizers presented several revenue-raising options to make up the cost, including asking the state's highest earners to pay more.

"If we are to fix this budget without balancing it on the backs of people who are least able to handle it, we have to explore revenue options and revenue from people who are better able to afford it," Kathy Flaherty with Connecticut Legal Rights Project said.

"I'm pleased to announce that the Senate Democratic Caucus has submitted to the Secretary of the State's Office earlier this afternoon a petition with signatures of 17 members guaranteeing that we will come into special session to deal with the Medicare Savings Program before the end of the year," Senate President Martin Looney at the gathering said on Thursday.

Looney said they're going to have to be creative with how they find a solution and that raising rates on high earners hasn't yielded as much money as projected in years past. He said he believes they can come to a bipartisan solution.

Senate Republican President Len Fasano said that they'd put in their petition before Thursday.

"This is a truly bipartisan agreement to restore funding in full for the Medicare Savings Program that includes no tax increases and that cuts in other areas of government," Fasano wrote, in part, in a statement. 

All four caucuses have submitted signatures for the special session. The special session would need to take place between December 24 and 29. Realistically, it's likely to occur after Christmas.

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