In my lifetime, I don’t believe there has been a domestic policy with a broader impact or significance.
Like me, many healthcare advocates and proponents of the law will take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief and to celebrate. But not for long. While we’re thankful for judicial validation, the arduous responsibility of shaping the policies and systems that will bring comprehensive, affordable and quality healthcare to the broadest spectrum of the population lies ahead.
Once again, Connecticut has the opportunity to be a leader in healthcare reform, (as it had in 2009, with passage of its own healthcare law) by maximizing infrastructure, including the Office of Healthcare Reform and Innovation, Healthcare Cabinet and State Healthcare Exchange. It is the charge of these entities to create parameters for sustainable healthcare options that serve the public and to ensure consumers know how to access benefits.
Consumers and advocates would be wise to remain diligent in informing the process. If Connecticut’s past legislative session proves anything, it is that state implementation of even the simplest components of healthcare reform can fall victim to political wrangling or secret agendas. (Consider the fate of HB 5013 – a measure that would have given the State Healthcare Advocate voting rights and added two small business and two consumer representatives to the Health Insurance Exchange Board.)
Due to pressure from stakeholders and a final legislative push, the Healthcare Advocate is now a voting member of the Exchange.
Still, even with the chance for imperfections, or missteps, I, like many Americans would rather live in the realm of our most recent possibilities. Now, a new foundation exists, and so does the opportunity to use tools for good health to construct more vibrant lives.
Health Justice CT provides a public forum for conversations, ideas and collective action. The opinion expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HealthJusticeCT or our funder.
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