Wednesday, April 12, 2006

DeStefano Unveils Universal Health Plan

In what may have been an attempt to recapture some of the momentum going into the Democratic convention, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano announced his plan today to provide affordable health care for all Connecticut residents. Here's the upshot:
The DeStefano Connecticut Cover All Now! Plan is anchored by two major reforms:

It creates a private health insurance one-stop marketplace, the Connecticut HealthCare Consortium (CHC), from which small businesses, families and individuals can purchase health insurance coverage, thus combining the small business and individual markets to create a large risk pool to open up access and drive down costs.

It reforms the state’s corporate income tax structure to provide all businesses with the tax relief needed to provide affordable, portable, and prevention-based coverage to every family in Connecticut. (DeStefano)

It's an interesting thought, and something like this is probably where the United States will end up in a few decades. I still think that some form of universal health care would help Connecticut be more competitive and attractive to businesses. This plan seems like a good starting place, although it would probably take quite some time to set up and do well.

Dan Malloy welcomed DeStefano to the health care debate, but countered that his own plan to cover every child would take effect immediately:
We have some differences to be sure -- perhaps the most important one is that unlike John DeStefano, I don't believe we can wait any longer to take action. We need to implement real, specific, achievable plans -- and we can't wait for the next session or the next election: the time to act is now.

That's why I proposed a plan for immediate universal health care coverage for children, called "Every Child Matters," prior to this legislative session. But the Rell Administration did nothing. And I was surprised and disappointed that John didn't join my call to have this plan implemented immediately -- in this legislative session. Not next year -- but now. (Malloy)
So far Gov. Rell has been quiet on health care, which is too bad. This is one of the most pressing issues we face, along with job creation and transportation.

I do like the DeStefano plan in theory. The idea of a state clearinghouse for health insurance isn't a terrible one, but only if it's done well. That may be the real hurdle.

Sources

"DeStefano announces universal health care." DeStefano for Connecticut. Press Release, 12 April, 2006.

"Malloy welcomes DeStefano to health care debate." Malloy for Governor. Press Release, 12 April, 2006.

25 comments:

stomv said...

CT born and raised, living in MA...

I wonder how this will compare to the plan Massachusetts just passed. A brief summary:

* Employers providing insurance options for their employees no longer have to also pay into the "free health care pool".
* If you don't provide insurance benefits to your employees, you now do have to pay $295/yr into the "free health care pool".
* Individuals must be insured. Personal mandate. If you are poor, you can get insurance through various state and federal programs.
* Insurance must be affordable, whatever that means.

It will result in an expansion of coverage, for sure. It also requires that citizens enter private contracts with private (for-profit or not-for-profit) companies. I'm horrified by this requirement; I don't think it's appropriate for my government to require I enter a contract just because I live here. This isn't driving and auto-insurance; in fact, one of the reasons I live in the Boston Metro area is so that I don't have to own a car (and hence not carry insurance). I'm not aruging that health insurance is a bad idea; I'm arguing against the state forcing a person to get insurance through a private company.


At the end of the day, health coverage moving towards universal health care should only help bring in good companies to the state. It makes the state more attractive to live in, and it takes the "task" of providing health insurance to your employees away, thereby allowing the business to focus on its business and not more Human Resources.

TrueBlueCT said...

Good News! DeStefano follows Malloy's lead in vowing to run with the Democratic nominee in the Fall.

Thanks to Paul Bass for covering this in the New Haven Independent.

So which Gubernatorial is going to Embrace the Base?

MikeCT said...

There are more details on the DeStefano health plan on the NH Independent site.

On WFCR FM, Steffie Woolhandler of Physicians for a National Health Program briefly and brilliantly dissected the Massachusetts plan (mp3 audio), which sounds like a doomed fraud. If only more politicians had the courage of Chris Murphy or even a TV Presidential candidate and embraced single payer as the only real solution for universal care and cost control.

richard nixon said...

pluhlezee...this isnt a big issue...DeStefano should have come out for single payer universal healthcare....his plan ( and Michele Jacklin's) is way to little to late....in order to beat someone with an 80% popularity, you have to be daring and bold....this plan isnt.

The campaign isnt getting its moneys worth from Jacklin($1000 a week) or us from DeStefano.

Quinn said...

Wow, I'd never thought I'd say this about any Democrat's universal health plan, but those two ideas in particular, are sound, sane, reasonable, and actually pretty damn good. However, according to the article in the Independent, instead of providing tax relief for small businesses like GC's post made it seem like, he will in fact create corporate stealth taxes by elminating "loopholes," and there will be no new relief at all- it simply keeps some corporate tax exemptions already on the books. (apparantly not eliminating those as well is a form of "relief")

Still, it could be worse. Much worse. It could be Massachusetts' plan.

Quinn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wrath of Conn said...

Nixon...

Speaking of Jacklin, I've heard lately that she might be on her way out of the DeStefano campaign (her choice). There was also a rumor that Shonu wasnt just demoted last week, but is actually pretty much out of the picture there now too. Anyone else hear this?

MightyMouse1 said...

The courage of Chris Murphy? C'mon Mike, put down your pom-poms, Murphy was a wimp not calling the Plan B bill for a vote and then letting someone else do the work.

Courage seems to run and hide in an election year.

Tony Anchillo said...

Did anyone read the article in the Courant this morning? DeStefano just handed the Republicans more stuff to kill him if he actually makes the general. This from the Courant's coverage of DeStefano's Health plan:

To keep costs low for the basic plans, DeStefano said he would ask the General Assembly to waive several services now required by law, including pharmacy coverage for birth control pills, three-day hospital stays after a Caesarean delivery and at least an overnight stay after a mastectomy.

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-ctdestefano0413.artapr13,0,2135324.story?coll=hc-headlines-local

This has got to be one of the most misogynistic health care ideas I've heard of. After Rosa DeLauro fought so hard to get women an overnight stay in the hospital after a masectomy, Mr. DeStefano would like to erase it. After women all over the state fought for insurance companies to cover birth control pills, Mr. DeStefano would like to erase it. How will he explain to all the new mothers of working families that they just can't stay an extra night or two in the hospital after major surgery because it's just too expensive for his basic health care plan.

Further, this will be great for Jodi Rell, a breast cancer survivor and newly made grandmother, to throw back at Mr. DeStefano as she pummels him in the general election.

Interestingly, this information is not on his website, the New Haven Independent or in the New Haven Register.

Native Son said...

I read that article in the Courant as well, and I literally did a double-take. If Mayor DeStefano thinks that he will win his party's nomination and the general election by alienating over half the state's population, he seriously should have his head examined.

It is absolutely deplorable that in an effort to extend medical benefits universally, he has chosen to curtail the health and reproductive rights of women. If you did not know the party affiliation of someone proposing to curb these important rights, you would guess that he was a Republican.

Adding to the horrible provisions of Mayor DeStefano’s plan is the deleterious effect it will have on low-income and minority women who will no longer find protection in the law to have access to birth-control, necessary 3 day stays in hospitals after C-sections, and who will now find themselves forced once again to have drive-through mastectomies.

If we do not protect the least among us, then what are we fighting for? What good is it to move toward universal health coverage if that coverage does not guarantee the basic reproductive and health rights for all women in this state?

ConnecticutFan said...

Wow.. I didn't know that Destefano was anti women....I know who I am voting for in the primary as a woman who lives in CT.

superD said...

This falls under a "what was he thinking" category, and begs the question -- where was Michele Jacklin in all of this? She's long been a proponent and advocate of women's rights -- how can she remain silent or have even allowed this policy recommendation to see the light of day?

AB said...

Destefano is a snake....always was, always has been always will be......

TrueBlueCT said...

Aaron B.--

yeah, DeStefano is a snake. He wants a statewide dialogue about how to get everyone into the health care system. That's pretty effing low.

And you and Governor Rell could seemingly care less. I'll take either DeStefano or Malloy over the failed status quo, each and every day.

MikeCT said...

Mighty Mouse,

Chris Murphy was and remains a supporter of emergency contraception legislation. As I understand it, he tried to work out a compromise and had commitments of votes, but some legislators on the Public Health Committee withdrew their support at the last minute. I've spoken to a couple advocates who worked on this issue and neither blamed him. Could he and others have pushed harder or done something differently? Maybe, I don't know. But he's the co-chair of Public Health, not the dictator and he has a strong pro-choice record, while Johnson props up a Republican leadership dedicated to controlling women's bodies. Johnson is the threat to choice for CT women.

AB said...

TrueBlue,

The failed status quo you speak of is the never ending democratic majority that has controlled this state for years. You can cry all you want fact is Governor rell has done a darn good job and a good job standing up to the clueless majority. Reform the education arbitration systems so it works better for towns, Dems say no.....repeal the car tax, dems say no, allow catholic hospitals to not supply the morning after pill, they say to hell with your catholic based religious beliefs......Dems are wrong now as they have always been. If you think Destefano or Malloy has a chance to beat Rell your delusional. just as you are if you think pretty boy Murphy is gonna beat Nancy Johnson....

TrueBlueCT said...

Aaron B.--

Please answer the question.

Are you a good Christian? Because your blog is filled with hate.

AB said...

TrueBLue,

Please provide specific examples of my blog being filled with hate. Perhaps demanding that the US Government enforce existing immigration laws and holding illegals accountable for their illegal actiosn in coming here in the first place? Or perhaps pointing out that Island the so called religion of peace illustrates tiem and tiem again that the actiosn of its leaders and its history is filled with violence an dhatred towards all none muslims? Oh wait, I am sorry, I forgot, liberal lefties dont want the truth as the lies aide in furthering their uneducated, hateful propaganda. You know, republicans, are starving children, throwing old people out on the street without their medications, that we hate filled racists.....yeah yeah.....the playbook is old. Thats why this country gets redder very year and why more and more folks are seeing through the deception and the lies of the leftwing.

AB said...

wow, wish IO ahd spelled check my last post....sorry!

stomv said...

^ and that one too, I presume.

AB said...

You must admit, it was funny!

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