HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — D-Day is fast approaching for the Governor and legislative leaders to agree on a state budget cutting plan to present to a Special Session of the General Assembly next week.
On top of that; the state’s hospitals are ramping up their war against the Governor for cuts he made to them already.
Legislative leaders came back to the bargaining table at the Governor’s office Tuesday, with the knowledge that the state’s hospital industry is now threatening to take the state to court over the so called ‘Hospital Tax.’
The tax was approved three years ago in what many describe as a legal shell game. That’s because the hospitals were promised that whatever they paid in the ‘Hospital Tax,’ they’d get back in return in the form of federal matching Medicaid reimbursements to pay for taking care of the state’s poorest residents.
The hospitals feel they were stabbed in the back by Gov. Malloy in September when he cut Medicaid payments to the hospitals because the state budget was running in the red.
Now, the Connecticut Hospital Association is ramping up the battle with a threatened lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of the ‘Hospital Tax.’
In recent weeks, they’ve launched a ‘Stop the Cuts Now’ website and have been airing what can only be described as heart-string pulling TV commercials featuring the mother of a sick child. In a statement, the association says “Hospitals were left with no choice but to take this action to protect their ability to care for patients.”
The Governor, who has been sharply critical of high hospital CEO salaries and profit margins was even more critical on this latest move saying, “The hospitals want to be able to dictate to the people of Connecticut; You are going to pay us a lot of money, period.”
The Governor did report more progress Tuesday after another three hour meeting with legislative leaders who said talk of an early retirement plan for state employees is now officially dead.
More face-to-face negotiations are scheduled for Wednesday.