Many voices at the Health Care Cabinet public hearing

person-with-speech-bubble-clipart-best-b8wzrc-clipartBy Rosana Garcia

Yesterday was the public hearing for the Health Care Cabinet’s draft recommendations for health care cost containment.  You can read all the submitted testimony here, and watch the public hearing, recorded by CT-N, here.

Many of those testifying echoed each other, pointing to the post-election uncertainty surrounding health care, especially the Affordable Care Act.

The Foundation also submitted public comment.  Some highlights from our testimony (our full testimony available can be found here):

  • We expressed concern about potential changes at the federal level, including the loss of Medicaid expansion (HUSKY D, which covers an estimated 200,000 in CT) and loss of subsidies on the exchange (roughly 75,000 people in CT receive subsidies for coverage through Access Health CT).
  • Affordability: We explained that regardless of what is happening in Washington, health care is already unaffordable for many people. Coverage without affordability is coverage in name only – it does not guarantee access to needed care. And if coverage is too expensive, even more people will end up uninsured.
  • Health care prices: We don’t think the Cabinet recommendations go far enough in addressing the price of health care in the state. Health care prices are too high, and contribute to making health care unaffordable and out of reach for many.
  • Coordination, planning and accountability in the health care system: We strongly believe that it is important to plan and coordinate efforts across the health system and hold the system accountable for meeting the needs of the people of Connecticut.
  • Prescription drug costs: While the consultants did put together recommendations for addressing rising prescription drug costs, that work has been tabled to 2017. We believe this problem is too pressing to put on the back burner – people are struggling with the costs of their medications now.  This was echoed by others providing testimony.

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