Yesterday’s health care forum started with a strong presentation of the SustiNet proposal by Juan Figueroa of the Universal Health Care Foundation of CT and Stan Dorn of the Urban Institute. Juan described the inclusive process to develop the plan engaging diverse voices including business, providers, clergy, advocates, and consumers. Stan described the major tenets…

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Early this morning the General Assembly passed HB 6602, a bill to fill the billion dollar budget gap in the current state budget year that ends June 30th. Among other provisions, the bill eliminates Medicaid payments to hospitals for “never events”. Never events are preventable errors that result in serious harm to patients. Examples include…

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At their last meeting, by an eight to two vote, the Health First Authority approved their final report to the legislature. However it may not be their last meeting and it may not be the final report. The report was described as defining a broad strategy rather than detailed plans. As cost estimates for the…

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I have been getting more phone calls from people who are losing their jobs and are looking for health insurance. We discuss COBRA as an option but it is usually too expensive for them. For one consumer and his two children, it would cost $1000 per month for the COBRA premiums (under the recently passed…

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I testified recently at an Appropriations Committee hearing for the Department of Social Services budget and found myself thinking about how inaccessible and intimidating the whole process is for “regular” people (those who aren’t advocates or testifying on behalf of their agencies). I had to be at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) by 9 am…

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In a 6 to 3 vote, the Supreme Court Wednesday held that federal law does not pre-empt the right of patients to sue in state court over a federally regulated medication. The case involved a VT musician who lost her arm after Phenergan, an anti-nausea drug, was administered by “IV push” rather than “IV drip”.…

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According to today’s Hartford Courant, CT’s insurance industry is promoting a plan to cover everyone in the state. The industry is proposing to create a pool for individuals who can’t get or can’t afford insurance in the market now. They expect state subsidies to make the coverage affordable – there is no mention of the…

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Yesterday Governor Rell released a proposal to mitigate the state budget deficit for the current fiscal year that ends June 30th estimated at $1.1 billion and growing. She wants the legislature to act on it next Wednesday. While her proposals look very familiar, this is not the same as the cuts she proposed earlier this…

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The following email arrived at our office yesterday from one of our Board members at the CT Health Policy Project. Sheri Aquilino and her two children used to be on HUSKY; she now has coverage for her family through her job. She feels strongly that people need to understand what the Governor’s proposals for HUSKY…

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Today’s NY Times has a great article outlining the struggle of uninsured young adults to get health coverage. They describe the difficulty of living in an expensive city working at low wage jobs that don’t offer benefits. Coping strategies include sharing medications, jury rigging insulin injections, self-diagnosing using on-line sources, and giving up fast food…

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