CT health clinics issue warning on potential funding cuts

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STAMFORD -

Clinics across western Connecticut are issuing warnings that they could face dangerous funding cuts if Congress doesn't act soon.

Congress is expected to miss Saturday's deadline to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program known as "HUSKY B" in Connecticut.

The missed deadline will lead to a 70 percent funding cut at clinics used by thousands of families, many of which are working-class, who are struggling to pay for doctor visits.

Ludwig Spinelli, CEO of Optimus Health Care, a chain of clinics that would be affected by a funding cut, says that the cut would take away $3.5 million of funds used for patients, one-third of which have no insurance.

Congress will also miss the deadline to extend Community Health Center funding.

Luckily for those under the program, the state has enough money to keep HUSKY B running through February. 

Rep. Jim Himes says he is cautiously optimistic that Congress will make progress soon before funds are gone.

"Those conditions exist not just in Democratic states or Democratic areas," says Himes. "They exist in Republican areas, so this has always drawn a fair amount of bipartisan support."

Congress will hold hearings next week on reauthorizing the program.

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