Universal’s Top 5 Policy Priorities 2022
In 2022, Universal is in the fight for 5 policy priorities – along with other health, racial, economic and social justice issues. The state legislative session, which opened on February 9 and lasts 12 weeks, will take center stage in the next 3 months.
We Need You with Us
Your voice and your support are pivotal to the push for action on these issues. Only then can Universal and its allies counter the clout of our opposition, which has the ears of many legislators.
If you see an issue that you are interested in and would like to get involved, contact Lynne Ide at: [email protected]. And stay tuned for action alerts and updates.
The Top 5 for 2022
- Health coverage for all, regardless of immigration status
This year and on into 2023, we will advocate with our partners in the HUSKY 4 Immigrants coalition for Connecticut to finish the job and make a commitment to true universal health care in our state.
Last year Connecticut finally passed a bill to begin to cover more state residents, regardless of immigration status. This year pregnant women will receive both prenatal and post-partum care and starting in 2023, children will have coverage through age 8.
We call on our elected leaders to extend HUSKY to all qualified children and adults regardless of immigration status. Sign the petition here.
- Health care affordability
Connecticut has one of the most expensive health care systems in the country. Insurance premiums, out-of-pocket costs and hospital and prescription drug prices are all rising much faster than wages.
Here are a few ways we are working to lower costs:
- Pushing for an insurance rate review system that takes consumer affordability into account
- Advocating for Access Health CT to set rules that maximize federal dollars to help consumers afford coverage
- Participating on the Stakeholder Advisory Board in a new Cost Growth Benchmarks project that is seeking to keep overall health care expenditures in the state from increasing above 3 % or so a year (see a link to more information at the end of the blog)
- Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB)
Other states have begun to push back against the trend of ever-increasing prescription drug prices by establishing Prescription Drug Affordability Boards. Working with partners like AARP, the National MS Society, Connecticut Citizen Action Group and the diabetes advocates of T1International, we are seeking to get a board established in Connecticut.
- Hospital accountability to their communities
Nonprofit hospitals are exempted from paying taxes in return for providing benefits to their communities. Yet, as large hospital systems pursue a growth-at-any cost strategy, snapping up other hospitals and medical groups and closing needed services like maternity care, their dedication to the charity part of their mission is less evident than ever.
Universal is supporting several efforts to hold hospitals accountable for the promises they made to their communities.
- Behavioral health workforce
Our mental health system was already in crisis prior to the pandemic, lacking the workforce necessary to serve the needs of the people in our state. Now that crisis is even worse, with the traumatic impact of COVID-19 leading to even greater mental health and substance abuse problems. Legislators have made promises to address the crisis during the 2022 session. We will be lending our voice to the voices of other advocates fighting
Working Shoulder-to-Shoulder to Win
Universal is fighting for health care access and affordability and to hold the insurance, hospital and pharmaceutical industries accountable to Connecticut residents.
We are partnering with other organizations, coalitions and grassroots groups, to influence decision-makers in the state legislature and the Lamont administration – and win.
We are working for changes that improve health equity and close racial, ethnic and socio-economic gaps in health outcomes.
Learn more at:
Cost Growth Benchmarks Project
Access Health CT Board and Advisory Committees
Three rural Connecticut hospitals ending birthing services, NBC Connecticut.com, December 8, 2022
CT Mirror articles on behavioral health crisis:
CT legislative leaders: Mental health system in ‘deep crisis’ is priority in 2022 session, January 11, 2022
Ways to address the pandemic’s impact on children’s behavioral health, Viewpoints, December 8, 2021