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Affordable, Quality Health Care for All

State Public Health Insurance Plans are Models for National Health Reform

While the current debate in DC has focused on the choice of public health insurance plan, this Dispatch will outline how state legislators and health care advocates have already been advancing the priority of a public plan - helping to build grassroots support for creating the choice of a public health insurance plan as part of comprehensive health care reform.  Notable state campaigns to extend public plans to more families include Healthy Wisconsin, a guaranteed health care program for all state residents, providing state employee-level benefits and ensuring consumers' choice of providers, which passed the State Senate in 2007, and the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership, allowing small businesses and municipalities to buy coverage through the state employee health plan, which passed the legislature in 2008 but was vetoed by the Governor. This year, these initiatives have been reinvigorated by legislators and joined by other proposals that hinge on creating a public plan, like SustiNet, a comprehensive reform measure which creates a true public health insurance option in Connecticut, the nation's insurance capitol. 

Iowa Advances Health Reform Agenda

Prior to last Monday's White House health care forum in Des Moines, Iowa, one of fiveregional forums being held across the country, the Iowa Senate passed two significant health care reform measures - one symbolic and one substantive.