Senate Plan Aims Low

by Christine Stuart | Jan 26, 2007 7:38 am

senatedemsUHC.jpgNew Haven’s State Sen. Martin Looney joined Senate Democrats Thursday in unveiling a $450 million universal health care plan covering 140,000 of the state’s uninsured. The plan falls short of universal coverage, reports the Independent’s Capitol correspondent in this article. The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut sees promise in the plans—click here for the organization’s response.

Real Life Crisis Turns Into A Policy Idea

by Jason Bartlett | Jan 25, 2007 12:04 pm

Jason_002_00.jpgNo sooner had Jason Bartlett been elected as a new state legislator, running on a universal health care platform, than he heard from a mom who could no longer afford HUSKY insurance for her young daughter.

Even before he was sworn in, Bartlett learned how sometimes it takes an elected official to get a family the health care they’re entitled to under law. Last week, he brought up the family’s case when he grilled government bureaucrats at a legislative hearing on the state’s HUSKY health insurance program for low-income families. Bartlett also at the hearing floated a proposal to force HMOs to fully disclose how they are spending public dollars in managing the HUSKY program. And this week Bartlett led a group of freshman legislators pushing the legislature to set aside the money now to support whatever version of universal health care is eventually adopted.

Read on for the latest installment of State Rep. Bartlett’s continuing Independent diary about a rookie legislator’s experiences tackling the health-care crisis.

Continue reading ‘Real Life Crisis Turns Into A Policy Idea’

Rookies Take The Lead

by Christine Stuart | Jan 23, 2007 8:56 am

12207-bartlett.jpgWhile legislative leaders dicker over whether to proceed with universal health care in Connecticut, newly elected representatives presented a plan to pay for it. Click here to read more from the Independent’s Capitol correspondent.

Clergy: Health Care Is A Right

by Christine Stuart | Jan 17, 2007 8:35 am

11607-grubbs02.jpgThe Rev. Bonita Grubbs (pictured) traveled from New Haven to Hartford to join other clergy—Christians, Muslims, Jews—to put pressure on the legislature to pass an affordable universal health care plan. She called it a moral issue of equality. Click here to read a report by the Independent’s Capitol correspondent.

A Rookie’s “Aha!” Moment

by Staff | Jan 15, 2007 3:41 pm | Comments (2)

jason_head_shot.jpgWill universal health care pass in Connecticut by this summer? Jason Bartlett hopes so. He just won a seat in the state legislature from Bethel, as a Democrat running on a pro-universal health care platform. As he writes below, Bartlett, who’s a small businessman (he owns a mortgage company), had a revelation at the first gathering of freshman legislators to discuss health-care: While the leaders argue over which kind of universal plan to pass, freshmen could lead a move to start paying for it now. Follow along with Bartlett as he reports on Project Universal Health Care from legislative ground zero.

Continue reading ‘A Rookie’s “Aha!” Moment’

Guv Enters Universal Health Derby

by Christine Stuart | Jan 1, 2007 10:14 am

rell.jpgAfter insisting she saw no need for a universal health care plan in Connecticut, Gov. Jodi Rell has introduced one. Click here to read her office’s summary. Advocates welcomed her to the debate. (Click here for the Universal Health Care Foundation’s statement, here for public advocate Kevin Lembo’s reaction.) Critics noted that Rell’s plan falls short of the broader vision encompassed in some other plans, which aim for portability from job to job and for costing poor people less while covering more. And Rell’s plan would rely on the same HMOs that have defied commissioners, a judge, and even the governor herself in how they run the HUSKY program. But it’s a start. Click here to read more from the Independent’s Capitol correspondent.