By Jackie Nappo and Leah Ralls

Leah Ralls is in her third term as president of the Windham/Willimantic, CT branch of the NAACP, a civil rights organization that fights to eliminate discrimination in areas of employment, housing, police relations, health care, and much more. She spoke to Universal Health Care about her work, Juneteenth, and her outlook.

This Juneteenth, the Windham/Willimantic NAACP will host a presentation in collaboration with the Willimantic Library. They will have Dr. Stacey Close, the associate provost and vice president of equity and diversity at Eastern Connecticut State University. …


By: Jackie Nappo and Julia DiCola

Julia DiCola is a fierce advocate for the homeless, particularly homeless youth, in Connecticut. She’s the first transgender board chair for Optimus Health Care, which is the second largest community health care clinic in Connecticut. She works as the Strategic Development Director for the Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program, or GBAPP.

We spoke about the challenges facing the LGBTQ community in Connecticut, and how so many of the issues facing people are interconnected.

Q: Tell me a little about yourself.

A: I live in downtown Bridgeport, and this has been my adopted and spiritual…


By: Jackie Nappo and Liz Gustafson

The following is a Q&A with Liz Gustafson, the State Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut. They are a small but mighty organization in our state and nationally that has been fighting for reproductive freedom for over 50 years.

They also work with cross movement allies on behalf of proactive pro-choice policies, such as Universal Health Care Foundation of CT, Planned Parenthood, Health Equity Solutions, the YWCA of Greater Hartford, Protect our Care CT, and many others.

Q: In your words, what’s going on right now for reproductive rights in the U.S. and CT?

A…


By Frances G. Padilla

In the throes of a global pandemic, Universal Health Care Foundation of CT came together with key allies and legislative champions to pass a bold public options bill this session.

Now, more than ever, the deep flaws in our health care system are exposed. Sadly, several lawmakers showed their true colors: they ​chose to stand with big insurance industry interests over state residents, even though polls show 92% of residents want the government to expand health care options.

COVID-19 has left hundreds of thousands of residents in an economic and personal crisis. It’s astounding that five…


By Frances G. Padilla

As Health Equity Week in Connecticut comes to a close, I want to reflect on how the experience of the past year should strengthen our resolve to work for justice. Justice is within reach if we are willing to disrupt the status quo to achieve it. The American Public Health Association offers six key principles for advancing health equity. I believe these principles can help set a path toward justice.

We have to be explicit about the populations we’re talking about.

Black and Brown people. In CT, this means naming African Americans, Latin people from the Caribbean, Central and South America, Indigenous people, Asian Americans and Pacific…


By Frances G. Padilla

This text was originally given as testimony on Connecticut House Bill 6662: An Act Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis and Establishing the Commission on Racial Equity in Public Health

At Universal Health Care Foundation, we envision health care that takes excellent care of all of us when we are sick, helps to keep us healthy, and does not threaten our financial security. …


By Jill Zorn

What does the American Rescue Plan mean for health care in Connecticut?

After what felt like ages of back and forth, congress has finally passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. It will give much needed relief to Connecticut residents who have struggled to afford health care, and give a huge boost to state revenues to improve vaccine delivery and public health.

Private Insurance: Major Increases in ACA Exchange Subsidies for 2021 and 2022

Subsidies are extended for the first time to people with incomes over 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This makes sure that no marketplace enrollee spends more than 8.5 …


By Lynne Ide

Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 842: An Act Concerning Health Insurance and Health Care in Connecticut

Too many residents in Connecticut lack health coverage they can count on. They have a lot of questions. Will I be taken care of when I get sick at a price I can afford? Will health insurance give me peace of mind or will high deductibles leave me bankrupt if I get sick? Will my loved ones and I be able to get care when and where we need it? These are common questions for too many people. …


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…


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…

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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