In 2003, the last time the state cut off HUSKY parents, the results were devastating for families. A study following eight families as parents coped without coverage documented the impact. One working mother, a substitute teacher, was unable to afford to continue taking her medication and had a heart attack. She then qualified as medically needy and over the next six months she recovered (racking up significant personal debt and costs to taxpayers) and returned to work. But she suffered another heart attack just a month after her coverage lapsed, this time far more serious. The costs to her family and taxpayers far exceeded any savings and policymakers wisely restored eligibility levels in 2005.
The current deal also reportedly includes some cuts to Medicaid providers, home care for seniors and mental health provider grants, although less than the Governor asked for.