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By Frances G. Padilla

It is an indisputable fact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to the fight for justice. He believed in the power of people to affect change.

In the years since Dr. King’s life, our society has become more atomized and divided than ever. We have so many resources that should foster connection, and yet the privileged remain disconnected from the marginalized. In Connecticut, we are still one of the most segregated states in the country.

How do we come out on the other side of this? What would Dr. King prescribe for this moment?

We can’t speak for Dr. King. He was too much of a visionary- his experience was too full of pain for others to speak for him. …

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By Jill Zorn

Late last week elected officials and advocates gathered on the steps of the capitol building in Hartford to announce an effort to make health care in Connecticut more accessible, affordable and equitable by advancing health insurance public option legislation in the 2021 session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

What is a Public Option?

It’s a health insurance choice, based on an existing public program, that is made available for more individuals or employers to purchase.

Current health insurance public programs in Connecticut include HUSKY (Medicaid), subsidized individual insurance sold through Access Health CT, and the state employee health plan. The latter covers over 200,000 people in the state, making it the single largest employer-based coverage plan in Connecticut. …

October 23, 2020

By Jill Zorn

Connecticut’s COVID-19 cases are on the rise and we desperately need a mix of federal response and community cooperation to get us through.

Through the summer, Connecticut was a model for getting the virus under control. But cases and hospitalizations started to creep up in mid-August, and now are rising more steeply.

Right now, COVID is spreading more rapidly in certain cities and towns in the state than in others. A new color-coded map is now put out weekly by the state to show which towns are more at risk, based on the average number of cases that have occurred in the last two weeks. …

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By: Ariella Mendoza Ozuna

A recent survey from the CT Mirror highlighted the disproportionate effect the pandemic is having in the Black and Latino community. The “State of Wellbeing” survey quantifies racial inequalities based on new data during the COVID-19 crisis. There is a saying that goes- “If a tree falls down in the forest, and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?

Social institutions are failing people of color all over the U.S. However, it seems that these trees are falling, and though there are people around to hear them, they aren’t making a sound. …

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By Jackie Nappo

“When there are nine.”

A revolutionary answer to a cliché question: when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg responded, “When there are nine.”

The Universal Health Care Foundation office comprises ten women: eight staff and two interns. All of whom were hired because they are the best person for their job. It makes you wonder what this office, and so many other places, would look like had Justice Ginsburg never set out on her path to make the world a more equitable place.

Justice Ginsburg was a weight bearing column in the construction of justice. Little as she was, she was carrying a heavy load for U.S. …

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By Rosana G. Ferraro

It’s that time of year again — when insurance companies ask for health insurance rate increases for individual and small group plans. While this happens every year, this year is different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is outrageous that health insurance companies are asking for rate increases in the midst of a pandemic. People have been using their health care less this past year, since many are avoiding doctor’s offices and hospitals so they don’t get sick.

In fact, UnitedHealth Group saw it’s most profitable quarter in history in the 2nd quarter, and other health insurance companies are not worried about their profits, despite the economic downturn. …

By Rosana Ferraro

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Wondering what happened in the special session? We’ve got your back.

As you may know, legislators got together for a special July session to address four issues, two of which are health-care related: telehealth, diabetes costs, absentee ballot voting in November and police accountability.

So what happened?

Telehealth- passed

Though the bill extended telehealth passed, the insurance companies got their way and telehealth is no longer available at no cost to people who have private insurance. Medicaid members, however, do not have out of pocket costs, and uninsured folks will still pay the Medicare rate for telehealth visits.

Telephone only telehealth stayed in the bill, which we are excited about. This means that those who do not have reliable internet access can still be covered for telehealth, which we consider to be a win for health equity. …

By Jackie Nappo and Jill Zorn

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Recently, Universal Health Care has been talking about disparate health outcomes, particularly as they relate to race. After our recent conversation with Tekisha Everette and Stephanye Clarke, which can be watched here, we wanted to offer some more resources for folks who are interested in learning more about disparities and where they come from.

This list of podcast recommendations is a good place to start for anyone interested in listening to more conversations about race, health, and how those two have factored into the U.S. COVID-19 situation.

Public Health on Call — What Does it Mean to Call Racism a Public Health Issue?

June 25

From the John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, speaks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein. Dr. Benjamin says racism is in many ways the original sin that has resulted in a range of disparate health impacts. If we don’t address racism at its core, we won’t be able to fundamentally improve health and health inequities.

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By Jackie Nappo

Connecticut’s special legislative session is finally here. A lot has gone on between the March shutdown and now, and it’s clear we need bold action to guide us to the other side of this crisis.

The four issues that legislators will take up in the next week include insulin costs, telehealth, absentee ballots, and police accountability.

These are good first steps, but they are far from enough to address all the pain points that COVID-19 has amplified.

We hope to see another special session in September, and state residents need action on comprehensive legislation to address pressing public health, health equity, and health care affordability issues.

You can read our full list of legislative priorities here.

In the next week, the legislature plans to pass all four bills. Here are the key features of the two health care-related…

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By: Denise Smith, Asher Delerme, and Jackie Nappo

In June, we held an online conversation with Denise Smith, Dr. Julian Nieves, and Asher DeLerme. Denise, Asher, and Julian are all front line health workers. They discussed with us the disparities that have long existed in the health care field and beyond for Black folks and other people of color. Here, Asher and Denise are revisiting some of the questions audience members had that we did not have enough time to respond to.

Racism, anti-Blackness, and how they play into our social systems is an ongoing conversation. We will be discussing racial injustice and health equity in an upcoming conversation with Stephanye Clarke and Tekisha Everette, which you can register for here. …


Universal Health Care Foundation of CT

We are an activist philanthropy in CT fighting on the front lines of health care activism, because everyone deserves health care.

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