On Wednesday night, the Connecticut House passed
a simple, yet far-reaching bill to offer small businesses and
municipalities better, more affordable health insurance. The
Connecticut Healthcare Partnership, HB 5536,
allows small businesses and municipalities to join the state employee
health insurance plan. This is significant because small employers,
towns, employees and their families will be able to join forces with
and benefit from the bargaining power of the 200,000 member-strong
state employee pool.
Turn on the news or open up the paper, and you'll read countless stories about how families and small businesses in Colorado are being hit hard by everything from rising gas prices to home foreclosures to the cost of health care. It seems like every sector of the economy is in trouble except, perhaps, the health care industry and health insurance companies in particular. They've never had it so good.
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.