Public option gone but good pieces remain

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Negotiations over a public health insurance option in CT have broken down but other good parts of the deal remain. Reportedly, there is a budget agreement to restore HUSKY eligibility for some of the 11,000 working parents cut in 2016. DSS reports found that the large majority of the low-income parents cut from HUSKY were not insured or had unknown status in 2017.  Advocates are calling on policymakers to restore eligibility to all low-income parents who were cut.

Despite removal of the public option, the bill retains important provisions to improve healthcare in Connecticut. The bill directs the state to request a federal waiver to import drugs from Canada which would bring significant reductions in prescription prices, the largest driver of Connecticut’s rising health costs. It also includes a modest opioid tax raising $18.3 million annually and a reinsurance program to stabilize premium costs by restoring an Affordable Care Act program cut by the Trump administration. Restoration of the individual mandate and increased subsidies for low-income consumers purchasing Access Health CT coverage are no longer included.