State measures to protect women’s and children’s health from federal Obamacare cuts and requiring insurance companies to cover prosthetic devices became law Friday with the signatures — and a warning — from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Malloy signed House Bill 5210, which requires the coverage of health benefits no longer mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act; and Senate Bill 376, requiring the prosthetics coverage. (Read more about the bills here from Christine Stuart.)
The latter bill got over the line thanks to a statewide grassroots organizing campaign by people who have lost limbs. (Click here to read about that.)
An estimated 20,000 people in the state have lost limbs. It can cost between $30,000 and $60,000 to get a prosthetic leg.
In a letter attached to his signing statement, Malloy called the two bills the right steps to take to protect public health—but also warned that they come with a cost. He estimated the bills will add “at least $2 million” in new costs for the state government, which the latest budget adjustments didn’t cover. So, he wrote, he has asked his budget office to find ways to cover the cost.
“These two pieces of legislation are undoubtedly noble and those who advocated for them were entirely well intentioned,” Malloy wrote. “however, this is a warning— we must proceed cautiously when taking legislative action may put vital health insurance out of reach for low-income and middle-income individuals in our state.” (You can find the full text of his letter at this link.)
Click on the Facebook Live video watch a previous interview on WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven” program with two leading advocates on the prosthetics issue, Brenda Novak and Herb Kolodny.