PHOTO: State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (middle) speaks during the SWCAA legislative update. He is joined by State Representative JP Sredzinski (left) and by State Senators Kevin Kelly (middle-right) and Tony Hwang (right).
BRIDGEPORT – State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown) participated in the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging’s (SWCAA) annual Legislative Breakfast. The breakfast meeting was held in partnership with the Greater Bridgeport Elder Service Council in Bridgeport. Bolinsky was joined by several members of the General Assembly to provide the legislative update.
Rep. Bolinsky stated, “It was an honor to address and answer questions from so many care providers and be able to draw on the expertise of Aging Committee Chairman, Senator Kevin Kelly, Vice-Chair, Senator Tony Hwang and fellow Newtown Rep., JP Sredzinski, in this well attended forum.”
According to Bolinsky, the legislative panel discussed some very timely issues, legislation and service needs affecting older adults, while also taking questions from members and nonprofits of aging services organizations that are from our region.
The most invigorating topic that was addressed by the panel was the legislative remedies needed for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) eligibility problem. Rep Bolinsky expressed that there is strong bipartisan support for getting this fixed before Christmas, and noted, “This problem was created by the legislature and, we need to make it right. Despite being an unintended consequence, it could affect upwards of 130,000 seniors who are currently eligible. I think it’s a no-brainer, but we need the majority party in Hartford to call us into session so that the legislature can take action. We can and should make good on this unintended consequence to our most vulnerable.”
Bolinsky went on to mention that the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced today that the agency will be reviewing the MSP issue while it works with the legislature and other stakeholders to determine a financial solution.
According to an official release from the department, the DSS review will result in moving the date of changes in the Medicare Savings Program past January 1, 2018. DSS expects that its review process will take at least two months to complete, at which time the reduced income limits will go into effect. DSS will continue to keep beneficiaries informed as the process is put into place.
Rep. Bolinsky currently serves as an Assistant Minority Leader, a member of the legislature’s Aging Committee, where he was formerly Ranking Member, as well as on the legislature’s Education Committee and Appropriations Committee.