HARTFORD & GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Deep cuts in state spending will push thousands of Connecticut seniors and the disabled to desperation in just 25 days.
January 1st is when 113,000 Connecticut residents start losing “Medicare Savings Program” coverage for Medicare Premiums, deductibles and co-pays. If the legislature is going to fix this latest problem with the new budget, they’ve got to act within the next two weeks.
Original Story: 113,000 Connecticut seniors feeling state budget ax
Top legislative leaders will meet with the Governor Wednesday, and this cut is supposed to be at the top of the agenda.
Like thousands of other Connecticut residents that depend on the “Medicare Savings Program;” 55-year-old Christina Rotharmel is staring at desperation starting next month. Disabled and unable to work for the past five years, she’s had thirteen procedures in the past two years for various conditions; including most recently a second knee replacement. She needs another procedure next month. Now, losing the state coverage for her Medicare Premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, she tearfully says she doesn’t know where to turn.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I just really don’t, and it is that desperate. It is.”
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Rotharmel has spent much time on her computer calculating her new monthly budget and checking medical payments. She has determined she will only have about $200 dollars a month for food.
She only receives $15 a month in food stamps and says, “I have wonderful friends, wonderful neighbors who say to me that they’re going to take care of me, and that’s all fine and dandy, but it’s not their responsibility to take care of me. It’s mine.”
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She’s cancelled her life insurance policy, but still will not have enough for deductibles and co-pays in the new year. She’s contemplating giving up her car, internet, and cable TV adding, “It’s so incredibly scary not to know what’s going to happen, and I think it’s just so incredibly horrible that they have to balance the budget off the backs of the seniors and the disabled.”
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The problem is that just to stop these cuts for the first six months of the new year, lawmakers will have to cut $53 million somewhere else, plus they want to restore the $91 million in cuts the Governor announced to the cities and towns late last month. Plus, the new budget is already about $208 million in the red; so that also must be addressed.