We are living in a moment where, as history is unfolding before our eyes, I feel an immense sense of privilege. My role as a state legislator awards me the opportunity to work from home and access the best health insurance out there to protect me in the worst case.
This privilege is more visible than ever before — and I hope my colleagues in the Legislature feel it too. While, COVID-19 does not discriminate, our health system does. The people who will suffer the most from this historic virus are not the ones with great insurance, self-quarantining, but the ones our system has already left vulnerable: the uninsured and under-insured.
The ones who will be hit the hardest are those who cannot afford to seek treatment and, consequently, don’t get tested. The ones who cannot afford the “luxury”of taking time off from work to go to a doctor or urgent care center and pay for the disruptive costs of such a visit.
As a state, we must recognize that access to good health insurance — defined as health insurance that makes receiving health care affordable — is now treated as a privilege when it should be something more. It is time to normalize good health insurance. Not just health insurance, but good health insurance, as a basic human right and a basic necessity.
As we live through this moment of pandemic that has and will continue to exacerbate and expose health and economic disparities more than ever, we cannot afford to ignore policy proposals like Senate Bill 346 to establish the Connecticut Plan that levels the playing field for Connecticut residents.
My colleagues in the Legislature and I have the opportunity right now to respond to this inequity by passing SB 346 and establish the Connecticut Plan to create affordable and good health plans for small businesses, nonprofits, Taft Hartley Unions and individuals.
Designed by the Office of the State Comptroller, these plans will leverage the size of the State Employee Plan to create affordable plan options that will focus on quality and efficient care delivery. With low administrative costs, direct hospital contracting, and other innovations being implemented in the State Plan, the health plans will be lower cost than the commercial market’s current offerings.
I want all of my constituents and all of Connecticut to have access to the same health care that I have. It is a matter of basic justice — that you and I should have access to the same health care. This matter has always been important to me. When I ran to represent the 135th District, I ran on access to affordable health care, but now it is a matter of life and death. We can pass SB 346 to create the Connecticut Plan. We can do this now. Let’s get Connecticut covered. Let’s share our care, Connecticut #CTPlanNow.