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Connecticut

States Decide on High Risk Pools

The choice of whether or not to establish high-risk insurance pools represents the first major decision that states are facing with the March 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While twenty-nine governors -- 22 Democrats and 7 Republicans -- decided to create the pools themselves, most conservative governors failed to take advantage of the option to shape health care for their constituents and instead just kicked the issue back to the federal government, which will establish its own high-risk insurance pool in states that fail to take action.

Health Care Lawsuits Politicized by Right-Wing, Losing Steam in the States

In the weeks following the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of health care reform were joined by multiple, conservative Attorneys General from states across the nation, despite widespread condemnation that such challenges were frivolous, wasteful, and almost certain to fail in the courts.  In early April, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius commented that she believed the lawsuits had "more to do with politics than policy."

Workplace Tragedies Point to Need for States to Take Lead in Workplace Safety

April has seen two major industrial accidents that have captured the national eye. Explosions at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana claimed the lives of forty workers and injured thirty-eight. Much of the media attention on these tragedies has focused on the culpability of employers and enforcement capacity at federal agencies responsible for regulating mine and offshore drilling safety. However, there are proactive steps states can take to address occupational safety hazards and ensure people do not have to sacrifice their personal safety in exchange for a paycheck.