CT still earns a C+ on reform

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Once again, CT health care thoughtleaders give our state a C+ on health reform. From the beginning of the CT Health Thoughtleaders Survey in February, CT has varied between C and C+. CT has always received a B for effort. In good news, grades for the CT Health Insurance Exchange improved since June with fewer D’s and some A’s in this survey. Unfortunately, grades for Engaging Consumers in Policymaking and Data-based Policymaking have fallen. The former was the most common recommendation from thoughtleaders to improve progress toward reform. The overwhelming response was to engage consumers in policymaking – increase consumer voices, greater public engagement in the process, and engage advocates. Other suggestions included smarter policymaking (data, best practices), improve communications and transparency, convene stakeholders to build trust, and guard against conflicting financial and special interests. New questions in this survey found that almost all thoughtleaders are somewhat or very engaged in the process of reform, however all but four cite barriers to engagement. Understanding how critical stakeholder engagement will be to success, policymakers should work to improve effective, meaningful access to the process. A disturbing number of respondents have not been asked, or have tried but found few ways to participate. The Thoughtleader Survey is part of the CT Health Policy Project’s Health Reform Dashboard project at www.cthealthreform.org.