Attorney Sheldon Toubman, a longtime watcher of the Connecticut state budget, says Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s plan to eliminate Medicaid coverage for low-income parents who are between 133 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level is a bad idea.
Toubman is well-known for closely scrutinizing the budget as a staff attorney for the New Haven Legal Assistance Association for more than 20 years.
“This proposal, if adopted, would severely damage the basic health safety net in Connecticut,” Toubman said Wednesday. “Few of these parents will, as a practical matter, be able to afford the premiums and other cost-sharing required to buy insurance on the exchange, even with the federal subsidies. Right now, they do not have any cost-sharing obligations because it has been determined that, at their low income levels, they simply cannot afford this. Although the exchange theoretically offers alternative coverage, the required cost-sharing under the exchange plans will, as a practical matter, render insurance out of reach for most of them. Thus, the governor’s proposal would cause a major increase in the number of uninsured low-income individuals in our state, at least among low-income parents, undermining the whole point of health care reform as well as the safety net.”
He added, “I certainly hope the legislature will not agree to this, in that they have in the past been committed to preserving these benefits, in recognition that these folks really have nowhere else to go—and the exchange, unfortunately, does not significantly change that reality for folks at these low income levels. In addition, having kids and parents on the same plan, as is currently the situation for all kids and parents up to 185 percent, is simpler, more efficient and results in more kids actually being enrolled. Studies have confirmed this effect.”