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Affordable, Quality Health Care for All

A chance to level the playing field

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 insurance.

Individual Health Care Mandates and the Problem of Affordability

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.

A Consumer Guide to State Health Reform

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.

California Health Care Reform - Momentum Stalled

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. 

States Make Single-Payer the Standard for Reform

The California legislature is again on the verge of passing universal single-payer health care. SB 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. The 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.