CT residents concerned about Medicare cuts in state budget

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NORWALK -

The state comptroller says deficit projections out Friday are past the threshold for mandatory mid-year budget cuts from Gov. Dannel Malloy.

The governor says he will meet with legislative leaders next week to try to hammer out the best way forward.

In the meantime, many state residents are worried about how they'll survive those cuts, specifically reductions in Medicare financial help on which they rely.

News 12 has been receiving calls in the newsroom from people who were once eligible for the state's Medicare Savings Program who now are not. It could cause a struggle for 113,000 seniors and others with disabilities in Connecticut who are faced with losing the financial help.

Judith Lipton, of Fairfield, is on disability for a condition that leaves her without an immune system. She showed News 12 the 25 medications she's on and talked about the weekly infusions she needs to live. She says ever since she received a letter about the subsidy cuts from the state Department of Social Services, stress has been interfering with her eating and sleeping.

On Friday, she met with the director of Fairfield's Department of Human Services. Budget cuts have reduced who's eligible for the Medicare Savings Program, and Lipton won't get the $134 a month in Medicare subsidy and won't get the prescription drug savings.

"I'm devastated," Lipton says. "I don't know what to do, I don't know where to turn."

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff says he and five other legislators from both sides of the aisle will meet with Malloy on Wednesday. They're hoping to find $53 million in the budget to enable the Medicare Savings Program to stay intact and not leave out those faced with losing it.

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