Contributors Stephan Ramdohr and Holly Hackett, Medicare For All CT
State-based SP organizations
Medicare for All CT
State-based SP bills
HB5340 An Act Establishing a Single Payer Health Care Program in Connecticut
For the first time in about 20 years, a meaningful effort for a single-payer bill took place in Connecticut. Starting in 2020, Medicare for All CT activists reached out to all 151 CT state Reps and identified Reps David Michel and Anne Hughes as champions to introduce a true single payer bill. In 2021, with input from Minnesota, the detailed 21-page bill was drafted by Medicare for All CT activists and champion legislators and submitted. It was assigned to Insurance and Real Estate, but received no hearings this session.
A brief summary of the legislation is available on the CT General Assembly website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/CGABillStatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5340
Sponsor Rep. Anne Hughes. Co-sponsors: Sen. Marilyn Moore, Rep. Robyn Porter, Rep. David Michel, Rep. Mike Winkler; 2ndary co-sponsors Reb Brandon Chafee, Reb. Edwin Vargas, Rep. Anthony L. Nolan. (8/151 Reps.; 1/36 Sen.)
SB1090 an act to establish a commission to conduct an economic analysis of establishing a single payer, universal health care program.
Sponsor Sen. Marilyn Moore. Co-sponsors: Rep. David Michel, Rep. Anne M. Hughes, Rep. Robyn A. Porter, Rep. Caroline Simmons, Rep. Anthony L. Nolan, Rep. John “Jack” F. Hennessy, Rep. Brian T. Smith, Rep. Michael A. Winkler, Rep. Quentin W. Phipps, Rep. Kate Farrar, Rep. Edwin Vargas, Sen. Saud Anwar.
After being introduced in the 2021 session, the bill was immediately scheduled for a public hearing in the Human Services Committee for March 30. On April 1, the Human Services Committee voted “joint favorably” (with several favorable votes by legislators who were not co-sponsors), and it received a fiscal note. All 13 Democrats on the committee voted for it. It was sent to the Appropriations Committee, but received no further action in 2021.
DE-PRIVATIZED Medicaid. Medicaid was taken back by the state in 2012 from insurance company MCOs and converted to ePCCM (enhanced Primary Care Case Management) + 3 Administrative Services Org (dental, medical, behavioral) for administration only.
This is a strong demonstration of the state administering the large plan more effectively than the private sector. 20% reduction in administrative costs; 14% reduction in total cost, increased physician participation, 14% reduction in per patient cost.
Obstacles to SP in the current context
Strong insurance industry (Hartford CT is well-known “hub” for insurance industry); Insurance companies are largest donors to legislators.
Advantages for SP in current context
Enthusiasm for Municipal resolutions: the city of New London unanimously passed a Medicare for All resolution in February 2020; the town of Windham passed a resolution January 2021. Activist Dr. Justin Paglino (young retired MD/ researcher) will challenge an insurance cheerleader for seat next year.
There is strong grassroots advocacy group (M4A-CT) that has cultivated contacts with many legislators and also gathered people who testified in person (via Zoom) in favor of the SB1090 during the Public Hearing. In addition, M4A CT’s letter writing campaign sent more than 1,750 emails from CT residents urging the members of the Human Services Committee to vote in favor of the bill.
Goals for SP movement in CT 2021-22
Strengthen grassroots capacity; fund-raising for 501c4/; More “Public Citizen” M4A municipal resolutions.
Continuing the effort for a M4A resolution in New Haven. Find a way to get the SB1090 study done more affordably than the committee anticipates.
Where can people find news about Single Payer in your state and/or join a group?*
Medicare for All CT Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Medicare4allCT/