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Health Care Opinion

February 22, 2018

OP-ED | Advocates Must Inform Consumers of Risks When the State Won’t

by Ellen Andrews | Feb 22, 2018 9:56pm
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

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This week, independent advocates launched PCMHPlusFacts.org, a campaign to give HUSKY members balanced information about an experimental, new payment model expanding across the program.

Continue reading "OP-ED | Advocates Must Inform Consumers of Risks When the State Won’t" »

January 25, 2018

ANALYSIS | CT Health Reform Reaches New Low, But There Are Hints Of Optimism

by Ellen Andrews | Jan 25, 2018 10:42am
Posted to: Analysis | Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Public Health


Connecticut healthcare thoughtleaders gave our state a “C” for health reform this year, the lowest grade in our survey’s five years. None of the dozens of leaders across Connecticut’s health care system who responded to the survey gave the state an “A.”

The biggest losses this year were in Medicaid and data-based policymaking, but performance in every issue area has eroded. As in the past Connecticut rated a slightly higher C+ grade for effort. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not.

In the annual survey we ask Connecticut doctors, nurses, hospitals, other providers, reporters, insurance executives, academics, community and faith-based organizations, labor, employers, trade and industry associations, business leaders, brokers, payers, foundations, and consumer advocates for their assessment of our state’s progress, but this year we also asked about the impact of changes at the state and federal level and for their best advice to the next Governor. There is a lot of wisdom for policymakers in their responses.

Continue reading "ANALYSIS | CT Health Reform Reaches New Low, But There Are Hints Of Optimism" »

January 17, 2018

OP-ED | Replacing The Individual Mandate With Something Better

by Ted Doolittle | Jan 17, 2018 7:17am
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

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The Affordable Care Act’s unpopular individual mandate has been repealed as part of a massive tax overhaul, leaving most other elements of the ACA in place. No part of the ACA is less loved than the individual mandate, a tax designed to encourage uninsured folks to get health insurance. It hits working people who do not have insurance through their jobs, but who don’t realize they qualify for the ACA’s no-cost or low-cost insurance options – or who make too much to qualify for assistance, but can’t afford to buy health insurance on their own.

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January 10, 2018

OP-ED | Prescription Costs Are Squeezing Out Other Connecticut Priorities, But We Have Options

by Ellen Andrews | Jan 10, 2018 11:30am
Posted to: Analysis | Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Public Health | State Budget


Connecticut’s state budget is out of balance, reflecting the weakness in our state economy. Policymakers have been forced into compromising support for critical priorities, in healthcare and beyond.

Continue reading "OP-ED | Prescription Costs Are Squeezing Out Other Connecticut Priorities, But We Have Options" »

December 22, 2017

OP-ED | Policy Failures: Why Healthcare Innovations Don’t Travel Well

by Ellen Andrews | Dec 22, 2017 1:40pm
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion


Too often policymakers, advocates and others return from conferences or read reports highlighting great ideas that are working in other states. But when we try to implement them here in Connecticut, they too often fail. Not every good idea fails, but too many do.

Each failure erodes our enthusiasm for reform and builds cynicism. This problem isn’t limited to Connecticut, but it happens a lot here. While each failure is unique, there are a few Connecticut-specific themes – politics, failure to monitor and evaluate, conflicts of interest, and missing the essential point of the good idea.

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September 21, 2017

ANALYSIS | Connecticut’s Uninsured Rate Still Dropping, But Congress May Unravel Progress

by Ellen Andrews | Sep 21, 2017 6:21pm
Posted to: Analysis | Civil Liberties | Congress | Health Care | Mental Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | State Budget | White House


In good news, U.S. Census data finds that Connecticut’s uninsured rate continues to drop. Last year 4.9 percent of Connecticut residents didn’t have coverage. While that’s still 179,000 people and far too high, it is down by almost half from 2013. The bad news is that all that progress is at risk with a vote in Congress next week. Despite what you’ve heard, efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and slash Medicaid are alive and well.

Continue reading "ANALYSIS | Connecticut’s Uninsured Rate Still Dropping, But Congress May Unravel Progress" »

September 7, 2017

ANALYSIS | Is Overtreatment Really A Thing?

by Ellen Andrews | Sep 7, 2017 4:30am
Posted to: Analysis | Business | Consumer Protection | Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Leisure & Hospital Sector

There is a growing consensus in health policy circles that overtreatment is the source of all problems in our health care system. Like most common beliefs, there is some truth to it. For example, clinical research is clear that stents inserted into the arteries of people not having a heart attack do nothing to prevent heart attacks or extend life, even a little bit. But hundreds of thousands of Americans get stents inserted every year anyway.

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August 14, 2017

OP-ED | Connecticut’s Medicaid Future Looks Bleak

by Ellen Andrews | Aug 14, 2017 4:30am
Posted to: Analysis | Child Welfare | Equality | Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Public Health

Lightspring via shutterstock
Things are good in Connecticut’s Medicaid program now, but it wasn’t always this way.

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June 27, 2017

OP-ED | Increase Revenue To Save Medicaid And Other Basic Services For People With Disabilities

by Lisa Abbey-James | Jun 27, 2017 10:00pm
Posted to: Child Welfare | Health Care | Mental Health Care | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Sponsored Opinion | Public Health | Disability Care | Poverty | State Budget | Taxes

Katty2016 via shutterstock

I have severe disabilities, including brain injury and spinal cord injury, due to accidents in 1985 and 1992. I write to object to the willingness of some in the legislature to consider raising revenue to balance the state budget but ONLY to save municipalities from cuts, and NOT to prevent further shredding of the safety net for people like me.

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June 23, 2017

OP-ED | Middle Class, Middle Aged, and Mad

by Sarah Darer Littman | Jun 23, 2017 7:00am
Posted to: Analysis | Campaign Finance | Health Care | Mental Health Care | Opinion | Health Care Opinion

REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
I’m a hard-working, middle-aged, middle-class American, and I’m tired and angry.

I’m self-employed, and have several pre-existing health conditions, one of which involves mental health. I choose to be open about that in order to help the young people I write for, by showing them that you can have a diagnosed condition and still lead a productive and successful life with the right medication and treatment — if, and this is becoming an increasingly big if — you have insurance and can afford the co-pays.

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