Will Connecticut Legislators Rise to the Occasion?

July 1, 2020

By Jackie Nappo

 

Health justice is tied to social justice. This has been a core part of our mission at Universal Health Care since our founding 20 years ago.

 

In the era of COVID-19, that idea is harder to deny than ever. It’s just plain wrong to close one’s eyes to the harsh reality this crisis has imposed disproportionately on too many people in our state.

 

The toll the pandemic has taken on Black people and people of color, immigrant families, those living with disability and chronic illness, residents housed in prisons, nursing homes and other institutions is something too many in power have turned a blind eye to.

Governor Ned Lamont and our elected legislators must take action NOW.

 

We expect a special legislative session later this month. Our leaders must move beyond symbolic gestures and sympathetic messaging and actually do something about the problems at hand.

 

It is unacceptable for there to be no action on health care in the special session.

 

Connecticut, thanks to its leadership, has fared well throughout this crisis so far. But far too many people have been left behind and more will suffer if we are not prepared to weather the duration of this crisis, which appears to be far from over.

 

We sent a letter to the Governor and legislative leaders with a list actions. Our entire list of priorities can be found here.

 

First, everyone — regardless of immigration status — must be protected from unaffordable health care costs. We will not be able to contain this virus if folks cannot afford a trip to doctor.

 

We also need to know what is happening across populations and care for people in their communities. This means collection, analysis, and reporting of race and ethnicity data, and supporting community health workers, doulas, and recovery coaches as the essential providers that they are. Public health is key to good health.

 

Finally, there are important bills that will help people that were on their way to passing into law before COVID-19 interrupted the session — such as prescription drug affordability.

 

People will need these protections, so legislators should take action.

 

This is a test for legislators: Will they rise to the occasion?

 

Use this link to send an email to Governor Lamont asking him to address health care during the special session.

 

You can paste this message into your email: Health care matters now more than ever. We need action in the upcoming special session. There are bills that will help people afford their care that have already passed out of legislative committees. They need to be brought over the finish line to protect residents from unaffordable health care costs and to defend and expand coverage for quality, affordable care.

And, the general assembly must take action to address racism and social determinants of health. CT must do all it can to ensure voter safety, and implement public health solutions for people that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.