Kaisernetwork.org – Feb. 6, 2009.
Summaries of recent news articles about the state budgets of Pennsylvania and Connecticut appear in this article.  Click title to read more…

  • Connecticut: Gov. Jodi Rell (R) on Wednesday proposed a two-year budget that calls for increased premiums and copayments for HUSKY beneficiaries, the Connecticut Post reports. HUSKY is the state’s version of CHIP. Rell also proposed reducing HUSKY benefits, eliminating rules that allow “self-declaration” of income when applying for the program, reducing community outreach, and suspending payment to safety net providers for unreimbursed costs for pregnant women. In addition, Rell proposed cutting the ConnPACE drug program for state residents who do not qualify for Medicare. Rell spokesperson Adam Liegeot said that despite the cuts, the state will offer citizens a “breadth and quality of human services and health programs” that is “second to none” (Urban, Connecticut Post, 2/5).
  • Pennsylvania: Gov. Ed Rendell (D) on Wednesday proposed a $29 billion fiscal year 2009-2010 budget that he said includes “painful” cuts to hundreds of state programs, but expands the state’s health insurance program for adults, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Worden et al., Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/5). Rendell’s proposal would double the number of lower-income beneficiaries enrolled in the adultBasic program to about 90,000. Rendell also proposed allowing the Department of Public Welfare to buy pharmaceuticals directly from drug companies, which could save $146 million annually, according to the AP/Reading Eagle (Scolforo, AP/Reading Eagle, 2/4). In addition, the budget proposal would eliminate $5.2 million in funding for critical access hospitals in the state. Pennsylvania faces a $2.3 billion budget deficit that could increase to $5 billion over two years (Micek, Allentown Morning Call, 2/6).
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