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After GOP Pressure, Senate Dems Join GOP on Petitions Necessary to Fix Medicare Funding

December 15, 2017 By Staff
After GOP Pressure, Senate Dems Join GOP on Petitions Necessary to Fix Medicare Funding

Senate GOP leader Len Fasano pressured Senate Democrats to do the right thing on petitions to address the Medicare Savings Program (MSP). It appears Fasano got results.

Early Thursday afternoon, Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) sent a letter to Democratic leaders in the legislature asking they submit their petitions to address the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) now, rather than after the new year.

Now, however, I understand we may not come in to session until on or after January 5, 2018, which will be orchestrated by Senate Democrats not submitting petitions until a later date. Further, I’ve learned that you now no longer want to solve the MSP issue as a standalone, but you have linked it with solving the current deficit.

…While I believe our priority must be to call a session through Gov. Malloy for December 19, should the governor refuse I want you all to know that the Senate Republicans have submitted 17 petitions to the Secretary of the State as of yesterday. The record will show we now only need two Senate Democrats to submit petitions to reach the required 51% to call a session before the new year. If Sen. Looney and Sen. Duff submit their petitions, two leaders who negotiated and agreed to a speedy resolution for MSP this year, we can still resolve this issue before the end of the year.

Hours later, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) announced that Senate Democrats would submit 17 petitions requesting a special session.

Looney and Duff did not seem happy about doing this after Republican pressure, griping about “political theater” from the GOP.

But it appears Fasano’s pressure got results. As the Hartford Courant and others reported on Thursday, lawmakers will address the funding gap in a post-Christmas session between December 26 and December 29.

Fasano thanked Looney for submitting petitions, despite his “erroneous and unsubstantiated accusations about Republicans.”

I am very happy to hear that the General Assembly has now submitted enough petitions to call a special session before the new year to restore funding for the Medicare Savings Program. This is a truly bipartisan agreement to restore funding in full for the Medicare Savings Program that includes no tax increases and that cuts in other areas of government. It is so important that we restore this funding as quickly as possible as a standalone item.

It appears that, thanks in part to Fasano’s pressure, Connecticut will restore cuts to Medicare for seniors before the new year.