Everyone knows that individuals and small employers face crushing
health insurance costs when they try to buy coverage on their own. But
state legislators in Hartford are about to take a simple yet
far-reaching step to address the problem.
By allowing municipalities and small businesses to buy into the
group plan currently provided to state employees, the recently
introduced Connecticut Healthcare Partnership would give working
families the clout they need to negotiate a better deal for health
This new PSN report, which updates a fall 2007 edition of the Stateside Dispatch, discusses the growth of legislative measures to protect consumers from unaffordable health care costs and uses the experience of Massachusetts' individual mandate as a case-study to demonstrate the need for strong language ensuring affordability.
Some health care reformers may recall that in 1994 the makers of Sim-City produced a Sim-Health computer program. The program, labeled by some as the "dryest"
simulation game ever made, allowed users to take control of the US
health care system and observe the results of their decisions. Now,
taking a similar yet more user-friendly approach, Community Catalyst and Families USA have teamed up to provide health care advocates with a web-based guide for developing state expansions of health coverage.
After more than a year
of negotiation, compromise, and ample national attention, major health
care reform in California was dealt a seemingly lethal blow on
Monday. The compromise health care measure, ABX1 1, was rejected by the Senate Health Committee by a none-too-subtle 7 to 1 vote.
The reform, which resembled the 2006 Massachusetts law, was largely
crafted by Speaker Nunez and the Governor after an earlier version was
vetoed by Schwarzenegger in September. Senate President Pro Tem
Perata, while a participant in negotiations throughout, never came to
fully back the latest measure.
The California legislature is again on the verge of
universal single-payer health
840, the California Universal Healthcare Act, sponsored
by State Senator Sheila
Kuehl, was recently approved by the State Senate and is now
before the Assembly, where it too is expected to pass.
legislation, which is often compared to a Medicare-for-all system, would
provide comprehensive and seamless health care for all
residents. Everyone - individuals, employers and government - would
share responsibility for funding the program. Importantly, consumers
would have complete freedom to choose their providers who would be paid
according to actuarially-sound reimbursement.