HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Hospitals and their staffs say they are fighting to preserve good health care, but that the Governor's plans make it impossible.
Hundreds of doctors, nurses, and administrators, from across the state jammed into the legislative office building with a simple message that the $550 million in cuts in their state funding proposed by Governor Malloy in his austerity budget will be devastating to health care.
"Resources will be taken away from the patients at the bedside," said Andy Hull, RN at Danbury Hospital.
They say that further staffing and program cuts will result because the hospitals are already operating very close to the edge.
The most impassioned plea came from Hull, the Danbury Hospital nurse who sustained three bullet wounds from shots fired by a dementia patient with a gun in the emergency room three years ago.
"Everyone out of this state that will ultimately have someone in their family that's sick and one day will be sick and they will appreciate the fact, there's someone there to hold their hand at the bedside," Hull said.
This is part of the money hospitals get from the state that helps to pay for patients with no insurance.
"Those cuts will affect care the bedside, make no mistake, anybody that says that's not the case isn't telling the truth," said Pat Charmel, CEO at Griffin Hospital.
However, the Governor says it's the hospitals that aren't telling the whole story.
"What's happened is; hospitals have gotten used to 24 percent increases in funding per year, and we can't afford it," said Governor Dannel Malloy.
Malloy also says the hospitals will make up the difference as more and more people become covered by insurance next year under the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Malloy says hospitals should look to cut CEO pay.
"Many of them are making in excess of $2 million, many of them more than a million dollars," Malloy said. "You look at the top 10 at each hospital, what they're making, citizens would be astounded."
Over three months of legislative time was used up dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
The gun part of that is now over and many are saying the 8 weeks left in the legislative session may not be enough to deal with a budget crisis that's been on hold since January.
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