When legislators and policymakers talk about saving money on health care in Connecticut, Praveen Dhulipalla gets nervous.

Eighteen months ago, he opened the Waterbury Pharmacy on East Main Street in the heart of the city’s downtown. The independent pharmacy—one of about 100 in the state—caters to senior citizens and the growing Hispanic population. Roughly 60 percent of his customers are on state-funded insurance, including Medicaid recipients and public employees and retirees. Many more are on Medicare. Dhulipalla offers them free delivery, personal consultations and convenience. But that doesn’t come cheap: his average cost per prescription, he said, is $11 to $12.

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