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President & CEO Ray Gorman Urges Legislators to Reject Proposed Budget Cuts

CMHA President & CEO Ray Gorman testified on February 15 before members of the Appropriations Committee of the General Assembly at the State Capitol regarding Governor Malloy’s proposed budget cuts to mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

Representing not only CMHA, but also the 120 agency members of the CT Community Providers Association (CCPA), Gorman voiced concerns and warned of impending reduced staff, reduced care, and rising operation costs leading to an erosion of services if the budget passes as proposed and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) grants are reduced by approximately 90%.

Most of CMHA’s clients are unable to afford to pay for care, and budget cuts will ultimately result in turning clients away because, as Gorman said, “Medicaid rates for outpatient services only cover 50-60% of the cost of care.”

“Behavioral health care providers have experienced an entire decade without appropriate increases to their funding amidst rising demand for services from the expansion of Medicaid, the recession, and the changes in the commercial insurance market.” Gorman said. “As an industry and a state, we also face the challenge of how to respond to another 50,000 new Medicaid recipients under the Affordable Care Act, with a behavioral health care system that cannot meet current demand.”

Gorman closed by urging the General Assembly to reject the cuts and to examine in depth what is needed to ensure that everyone in Connecticut has access to behavioral health services.

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