“I was under the impression that the Affordable Care Act is supposed to expand healthcare access but I am shocked to hear that someone like me could lose coverage,” said Frances Taylor, a single mother from Manchester.
Frances had a career job that offered health insurance, but during the downturn of the economy, she lost both her job and healthcare.
She now works two part time jobs to support her 17-year son, and relies heavily on Husky A, Connecticut’s Medicaid program for families with children with incomes below 185% of the federal poverty level, for basic healthcare needs. However, under Governor Malloy’s new budget plan, she would be one of 37,500 parents who would lose coverage.
In March, the Connecticut Health Foundation published a policy brief that assessed the impact of the Governor’s budget cuts on families whose incomes fall between 133 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Children of families of those income levels would still be eligible for Husky A benefits, but their parents would not. The Governor assumes that these low-income individuals will get coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange.
But according to the brief, the costs in the Exchange will be too high for Husky A parents even when federal subsidies are considered.
“We don’t have money for a lot of things, and it has meant a lot to us to have insurance through the state. It’s a frightening idea that we might not have this support, and it’s a difference of food or rent for us.” added Frances.
Francis is speaking out. She is involved in organizing around this issue; and last month she spoke at a Caring Families Coalition rally and urged legislators to protect Husky A for parents.
Currently, the legislature’s appropriations committee rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate HUSKY A health insurance coverage in 2014. But the fight to protect this program is still underway.
Advocacy groups and organizers, like Caring Families Coalition, the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care and the Connecticut Center for a New Economy are encouraging people to take action and call their legislators to protect Husky A parents in a rally at the Legislative Office Building tomorrow at noon.
Photos Courtesy of Patrick Comerford, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England