Breaking the Budget Deficit Down – Department of Social Services (DSS) – $190.9 million

When Governor Malloy proposed this year’s budget, the General Assembly passed it, and the Governor signed it into law, it was widely understood that the Malloy Administration had purposely underestimated the true costs of funding various programs, especially within the Department of Social Services.

Almost immediately, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo started warning the Malloy Administration that spending on social services would exceed what was authorized in the state budget.

Eventually, Ben Barnes, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, admitted that the state might spend as much as $100 million more than authorized on these programs.

When the truth finally came out last week, the projected spending level is at least $191 million more than budgeted, although the federal government will reimburse the state for 50 percent of that amount.

This week, details about the $191 million in excess Medicaid spending were finally provided.  The overspending includes;

$62.5 million in Acute Care Services (hospitalization)

$46.1 million in Professional Medical Care (doctors)

$25.9 million in Other Medical Services (lab work, treatment, medical supplies and equipment)

$13.0 million in Home and Community Based Services

$39.6 million in Nursing Home Facilities

$2.8 million in other Long Term Care

$1.0 million in Administration and Adjustments

In addition to the “optimistic assumptions,” there has been an increase in caseload, although the Malloy Administration’s attempt to blame the problem on increasing caseload is more than a bit disingenuous.

According to estimates from the independent Office of Fiscal Analysis,  the number of Low Income Adults seeking services has grown by about 4,000 clients since the beginning of the fiscal year in July, a 5.0% increase.  These additional clients represent an additional cost to the state of about $30.0 million.

In addition, the Malloy Administration had proposed a number of initiatives to reduce spending on Medicaid this year, most of which have yet to be implemented.

As part of Governor Malloy’s $132 million in cuts that he proposed yesterday, the Department of Social Services was hit for about $32 million.  These cuts will force significant reductions in a variety of vital services starting in December and January.

Some of the more significant program cuts include the following;

Children’s Trust Fund $657,000

Husky B Insurance Program $1.5 million

Old Age Assistance $1.5 million

Aid to the Disabled $964,000

Temporary Assistance to Family (TANF) $5.3 million

Connecticut Home Care Program $2.3 million

Child Care Services (which is the child care subsidy for low-income WORKING PARENTS) $2.3 million *

*So, the cut could actually cost the state money if parents are forced to quit to take care of children

Housing/Homeless Services $2.9 million

Furthermore, the largest cut to the Department of Social Services is being made to the grant program to Connecticut hospitals to help them cover their uncompensated care.  Malloy’s cut to these hospitals is for $13.4 million, which will certainly lead to health insurance premiums going up as hospitals try to stay in business by shifting even more costs to self-pay patients and those who are insured.

  • Apartheid First

    So, Malloy’s “modest proposal” is to cut aid to the sick, the aged, the homeless? Malloy wants to reduce compensation–i.e., salaries, benefits and compensation–to those who care for the sick, the aged, the homeless?

    It was reported this week in the Willimantic Chronicle that twice as many people have shown up at the homeless shelter as there are beds, chairs, or three-legged stools… and it is not even the busiest time of the year! Most of those waiting desperately for shelter have jobs. But Malloy is going to cut from the already-thread-bare patchwork of social services that exist in wealthy Connecticut.

    It was reported that, in an international survey of the best nations of the world to live in, the United States did not even make it into the top 10. I guess we don’t have enough hedge-fund managers and gold-coast businessmen to off-set the impoverished working class.

    • Linda174

      So there is a quality of life gap and we are ranked lower than the top ten…so who is responsible for this? And how will we close the gap? I think it is time to hold the political leaders accountable using attendance records, survey results and valued added scores. Can we also have their class rank from undergraduate and graduate school? Pryor, Malloy and Adamoswki please report this data to Wait, What?

      • Apartheid First

        Check out the “best places to be born”–

        • Linda174

          And we were #1 in 1988…who is responsible for our loss in the rankings? Who shall we hold accountable?

        • JMC

          Well, as for me, I take this state as a model of Dem government and extrapolate back to, say, Lyndon Johnson, for starters.

        • Linda174

          Okay…I trust you.

        • Obvious you haven’t been paying attention to the extreme left media propaganda; George Bush is at fault and always will be. Nothing to do with irresponisible speneding by the government. The problem is the government has not spent enough nor taxed us enough. Here is latest idea, have the government take all our wealth and earnings and then they can redistibute it as they see fit , out of fairness. No wonder businesses are knocking each other down escaping Connecticut like at a Walmart for a black friday sale. You won’t get it until we are Greece or California.

        • Linda174

          I get it and we already are. Unlike you I don’t blame one party. I blame both except that I do not believe that we have two separate parties. We have two brands controlled by the wealthy and by the corporations while feigning concern for the poor and middle class. So we are not that far apart and by the way don’t tell me what I “don’t get” Steve O…Love, Linda

        • Same, like me I don’t blame one party, I was being sarcastic.The pervailing leftists will blame Bush, Rowland , Rell and continue with very irresponisble spending, which I believe is the root of the economic situation we are in in Ct and the country. As you have guessed I do support the Tea Party and blame Republicans greatly as well.

        • JMC

          I agree, except for the last line! BTW, The Dems even have a plan to take our 401k’s.

        • jonpelto

          Yeah but mythman – it was the Republicans who destroyed the value of our 401ks! Now mine isn’t even worth all the mailings they send me !!!!!!! So there! 🙂
          Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

        • JMC

          With the Dow at 13,000, I hardly think your 401k has been destroyed, Jon!

        • jonpelto

          Oh – that was Obama’s effort to get it back….

          Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

        • JMC

          I think it was more a “flight to quality”, i.e. to equities away from cash, since the dollar is being debased by debt.

    • jschmidt2

      You need to know how they rate countries. For instance, if we rank low on mortality it could be because we take the sickest in the world or possibly as in France, they don’t count premies before a certain term in their infant mortality ratings.. So we come looking bad because we count them all, and treat the sickest. We also maintain the largest military power, a cost all other countries don’t have. We also maintain the most widespread liberties other country restrict. So how are they rated?
      I think Malloy is setting the liegislature up to push a tax increase to save those from these cuts, since Malloy made a deal with the unions, so they can’t be affected.

      • Linda174

        You could apply those same points to our public education system….we take all students..the most needy, the handicapped…we have a very diverse population and many living in poverty. The teachers are now the whipping boy for all of society’s ills….a convenient excuse so politicians can ignore the underlying roots of our country’s failings.

        • JMC

          Very true, L. I don’t believe, however, that “our country” is totally at fault. Poor personal choices play a large part in our problems. I will suggest, though, that the country’s culture is characterized by what I can only call depravity.

  • Pelto, can you send a link to this article to minority (African American and Hispanics in particular) members of the legislature? I posted one of your links on my facebook with a ‘paging’ to Musto and Ayala. No response yet! Feel so sorry for all the 800 plus seniors who vote–when instructed–by absentee ballots.

  • Suesylvester

    Does DCF fall under the category of DSS?

    • jonpelto

      Different agency – will add it to the list to lay out the cuts

  • Nothing new here. Democrats cut the services to the most vulnerable to protect their union cronies with no layoff guarantees, to protect their appointees and patronage jobs, and to protect the grotesque, bloated middle management salaries of the adminstrative agencies. Then there’s the haz duty pension scam …… all inviolate by the prior agreement of Boss Tweed.

    • sharewhut