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Healthcare Reform: Connecticut’s Journey to Implementation

Now that President Obama has been re-elected, many healthcare advocates and consumers are less worried about possible repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (PPACA)  aka “Obamacare.” While some states waited to see what the election would bring, states like  Connecticut, that were in the process of establishing healthcare exchanges, can continue their push to a one-stop marketplace where consumers can make informed choices about healthcare coverage.

If it were only that simple;   a straight paved highway to quality, affordable and comprehensive healthcare for all.  The fiscal cliff, proposals to inadequately fund Medicare and Medicaid, and the barrage of insurance company ads now claiming to offer affordable healthcare coverage are just some of the roadblocks along the way.  It’s no wonder consumers are gridlocked.

Where does one go to find reliable information about healthcare reform?   More importantly for consumers, when do the long anticipated benefits of healthcare coverage begin?

In addition to http://www.healthcare.gov/, Connecticut residents can check in at www.ct.gov/hix  for updates onthe activities of the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange, (the quasi-governmental agency responsible for setting up benefits at the state level).  While neither site provides immediate access to healthcare coverage, visitors can gain broader knowledge of what healthcare reform will provide, as well as timelines and progress updates.

Connecticut is positioned to allow residents to sign up for health insurance benefits in October 2013 with coverage starting January 2014.  Right now the Exchange is making critical decisions about the types and costs of coverage that will be provided and are holding open  forums to allow for public input (click here for more information).

Now that healthcare reform implementation is at full throttle, it’s more important than ever that consumers, advocates and friends of the universal healthcare movement are at the wheel.

That means showing up for Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange meetings and providing public comment, becoming a member of the Exchange’s various committees, contacting your legislator and/or the Office of the Healthcare Advocate with your concerns about how plans are taking shape, and being prepared and willing to help fix them.

In that way we can continue to pave the way to sustainable healthcare solutions that address our diverse needs.  We may not have arrived at universal healthcare coverage yet, but at least we’re further down the road to the desired destination.  Let’s keep driving!

Cheryl Harris Forbes is a managing principal of her integrated marketing consultancy firm, Harris Forbes Associates. Connect with Cheryl on Twitter or LinkedIN.   

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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About Cheryl Harris Forbes

Cheryl Harris Forbes is a managing principal of her integrated marketing consultancy firm, Harris Forbes Associates. Connect with Cheryl on Twitter or LinkedIN. Learn more about Cheryl here.

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