There are stark differences between the two presidential campaigns'
approaches to federal-state relationships. Differences range from the
amount of funding appropriated for programs run by the states to
whether the candidates would strengthen or weaken state regulatory
US athletes are now showing their mettle, competing against the world
in the Beijing Summer Olympics. Since the modern summer Olympics began
in 1896, the US has been a force; consistently fielding a dominant
cadre of athletes and ranking first, or among the top, in the overall medal count.
In the spirit of competition and international comparison, this
Stateside Dispatch will look at how well our health care system stacks
up against our peers in the international community.
The need for health care reform is well-known and, to most
Americans, indisputable. Numerous
statistics and an endless trove of real-life stories document the need
health care reform. This section provides four sets of policies to
help state legislators
and advocates build proposals and political strategies to challenge the
self-interests of the health care industry and successfully move health
The cost of health care is the primary reason at least 47
million Americans lack coverage and at least 25
million more are under-insured, meaning their insurance does not shield
them from high health care costs. From 2002 to 2007, family
insurance premiums rose 78% while inflation rose 17% and wages a mere
19%. Both employers and employees are feeling the squeeze.
Failure to create a coordinated and user-friendly health
care system that provides necessary coverage for all Americans has left us with
the endemic health care costs and wasteful spending that define our disjointed
health care system. For instance, a staggering 78% of all health
care costs are for people with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart
disease, and depression - costs which could be reduced with effective
management and disease prevention.
Hartford - The Progressive States Network, a
national group that tracks state initiatives to achieve quality and
affordable health care, lauded the Senate's passage of the Connecticut
Healthcare Partnership (HB 5536) and strongly urged Governor Rell to
sign the legislation. Connecticut would be the first state to allow
small businesses and municipalities to buy into the non-profit group
health plan currently provided to state employees - potentially saving
local taxpayers millions of dollars and reducing small employer
Allowing small businesses, non-profits, and
municipalities to join the 200,000 members-strong state plan will
foster competition among health insurance carriers and give employers,
municipalities and working families the clout they need to negotiate a
better deal for health insurance.
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