CT lawmakers vote to reverse Medicare cuts

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NORWALK -

More than 100,000 Medicare recipients will not lose state assistance after a vote Monday in Hartford.

The new state budget kicked about 113,000 seniors off the program, but the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to reverse the cuts.

"Thousands of seniors...picked up their phones, picked up their computers and emailed and called us, and showed up at our office hours and demonstrated how devastating it was to them to eliminate the supports in the Medicare Savings Program," said state Sen. Mae Flexer (D-Killingly).

The move will cost $54 million.

Anthony Polimeni, of Stamford, said prescriptions for his diabetes and ulcers cost $27,000 last year and that much of it was covered by the state's Medicare Savings Program.

In voting to reverse the cuts, lawmakers rejected a veto threat from Gov. Dannel Malloy, who said they are using budget gimmicks to pay for the program.

"If you're going to spend more money one place, you probably should cut money in another place," Malloy said.

Critics of Monday's vote said it will make the state budget deficit even higher, resulting in more cuts for residents.

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