FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2009
CONTACT: Austin Guest, email@example.com , 212.680.3116 x 110
PSN LAUDS PASSAGE OF CONNECTICUT BILLS CREATING CHOICE OF A PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN
Landmark bills stand as models for national reform
NEW YORK - The Progressive States Network warmly applauds the Connecticut House of Representatives' passage last night of two landmark bills that would each create the choice of a public health insurance plan in the state, the Connecticut Health Partnership, and SustiNet. The votes underscore the growing momentum at the state level for the choice of a public plan, a priority for reform endorsed by many health care advocates and lawmakers at the national level.
Said Progressive States Network Senior Health Care Policy Specialist Adam Thompson, “If lawmakers in the insurance industry capital of the world can build the political will to pass legislation including the choice of a public health insurance plan, then surely our leaders in Washington DC can do the same.”
He continued, “The passage of these bills puts Connecticut right at the heart of the national health care debate. A focal point of that debate is whether to provide Americans with the choice of a public health insurance plan that competes side-by-side with private plans. Connecticut lawmakers, as well as legislators across the country, are weighing in and saying that public plan choice is an absolute necessity. As the Obama Administration and Congress continue the debate around health care reform, we hope they will continue to look to the states as active collaborators in the drive to extend quality, affordable care to everyone.”
Thirty states currently offer state employees a public option side-by-side with private plans. Last year, Connecticut passed a similar version of the Healthcare Partnership, and similar proposals surfaced this year in Iowa and New Hampshire. Proposals to create public plans are also being debated in Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, and New York. Many states have created public insurance choice for all children, most notably Illinois’ AllKids program.
The Connecticut Healthcare Partnership, sponsored by Speaker Christopher Donovan, would open up the state employee health insurance pool to small businesses, non-profits and municipalities, and SustiNet, authored by the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, would create a new public health insurance plan choice for residents and businesses.
Progressive States Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the passage of state legislation that delivers on issues the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.