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Malloy and Religious Leaders Rally for SustiNet

by | Dec 14, 2010 9:25pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Health Care, State Capitol

At a rally to support SustiNet, Connecticut’s best chance at a public health insurance option, Gov.-elect Dan Malloy seemed cautiously optimistic that the program will be adopted and credited his mother, who was a school nurse, for his commitment to universal health care.

—More photos

“It was through her eyes and her advocacy that I think much of my commitment to making sure that all of our neighbors have access to quality health care really arouse,” he told the crowd that filled the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hartford.

The rally Tuesday was a prelude to Wednesday morning’s SustiNet Partnership Board of Directors meeting where it is expected to finalize its recommendations for the program. The recommendations will then be given to the legislature, which is expected to draft and vote on legislation that will likely be passed onto the governor.

As he spoke with an interfaith group of religious leaders standing behind him, Malloy sounded at times like a preacher as he described the progress SustiNet represents for universal health care in the state.

“I’m not sure we’re at the top of the mountain, where we see the promise land but we know the promise land exists or at least a substantial portion of that which is necessary to provide the promise land is just around the corner,” he said.

Malloy also expressed concern that the recently passed federal health care act is under attack, citing a case in Virginia this week when a judge decided the health insurance mandate exceeds Congress’ power to regulate economic activity under the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause.

“Let us hope based on the recent national elections that that victory is not snatched away from us,” he said, adding that the Virginia judge was “well a little more conservative than most of the people sitting in this room.”

Malloy said there was a lot of work that still needed to be done and said he planned to “go after” all the available federal money to support the state’s health care system.

“With any luck with the federal dollars and a turnaround in our economic situation, hopefully not in the too-distant future, we’ll be able to move this ball forward substantially greater than you might otherwise believe we can,” he said. “We’re going to get this job done.”

After his speech, religious leaders presented Malloy with some gifts like a bilingual bible in Spanish and English, and a Jewish and Islamic amulet. Malloy was careful to ask if the gifts were of nominal monetary value.

Speaker of the House Chris Donovan also addressed the crowd and used the opportunity to take a few jabs at outgoing Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell.

“That was quite an impressive sight with, I’ll say, the governor, the lieutenant governor and all the clergy. I remember a couple years ago when the clergy wanted to meet with the governor and the governor then refused,” he said.

Later on he thanked the lawmakers who were present at the rally for overriding Rell’s veto of SustiNet bill in July 2009.

Still later Donovan talked about spending cuts, specifically Rell’s 2009 proposed cuts to Medicaid.

“So what were the things that the governor then proposed to cut? Health care. Health care was number one on the list. Health care for the disadvantaged, health care for the vulnerable, health care for seniors was number one on that list,” he said.

Donovan also brought up proposed cuts to dental care, saying that Rell and others called dental care a luxury.

“When I go to the dentist I don’t think ‘yippie! I’m rich,” he said and got a laugh out of the crowd.

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(8) Archived Comments

posted by: hawkeye | December 15, 2010  12:35pm

Why is SustiNet being pushed, when there won’t be any money available to fund it, until the year of 2014?

Is this such a politically subject, that it deserves such advanced billing?

posted by: CT Bill | December 15, 2010  5:06pm

SustiNet is the quality, affordable health care plan that works hand-in-glove with national reform to cover all residents and bring much-needed new federal dollars into Connecticut. It means more choice, more security and more savings for residents and businesses. SustiNet will save Connecticut businesses and individuals combined $1.3 billion in 2014.

posted by: redlady | December 16, 2010  8:11am

This is the dangerous situation facing us with a Democratic governor and a Democratic majority in the General Assemble. Sustinet is a huge entitlement program open to not only anyone over 300% above poverty level, but state workers as well.  Read the bill #6600 and weep.  Know how your rep is spending your money and let them know whether or not you agree with it.

posted by: CT Bill | December 16, 2010  11:29am

redlady,

If you are so concerned that the people just elected by CT voters are “dangerous,” perhaps you might want to find a “safer” state (Alaska? Atlantis?)  [Nothing you attempted to write about SustiNet is true, of course, but that’s besides the point…]

posted by: redlady | December 16, 2010  10:56pm

CT Bill, when Malloy says “Virginia judge was “well a little more conservative than most of the people sitting in this room.”, he is right. And you are right;  I am moving - and taking my tax dollars with me to a state much more business friendly. With the state deficit higher (per capita) than CA, CT is in dire trouble.  If you don’t recognize that, it is sad indeed.

posted by: redlady | December 16, 2010  11:03pm

CT Bill, here are the eligibility rules from the bill:  All uninsured residents of Connecticut are eligible, if income is less than 300% of poverty level it will be at NO COST. AND,
Coverage under SustiNet beyond that currently provided to state employees/retirees /their dependents will be added to their coverage.

Please read the bill and consider how the tax payers are going to pay for this when the bank is empty now.

posted by: CT Bill | December 17, 2010  1:29pm

crimsonchick,

Alabama? Pompeii? Celebration, Florida?

posted by: hawkeye | December 17, 2010  1:56pm

redlady:  You are right, when you say that “people are looking for a free ride!”

“The big cities in Connecticut all voted for Democratic free ride deficit prosperity, in the recent election.”

The Democratic and Republican Congress, just for voted another $1 trillion dollars of deficit, to further devalue our dollar, and give us another free ride that we can’t afford, and a $15 trillion dollar national debt, that keeps growing and economically choking our country’s ability to recover.

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