FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Donna Tommelleo, 860-524-7313
April 16, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has established a Health Care Reform Cabinet, comprising officials from several state agencies, to ensure that state-administered health programs and other key elements meet the goals and requirements of the recently passed national health care reform law.
“We more than want to meet the letter of the law, we want to build on the success of Connecticut’s health care programs and access to that care,” the Governor said. “The national law is such a massive and unprecedented piece of legislation that, in some cases, it will take years until uninsured individuals begin to see the affects. We can be proud that Connecticut is a national leader in providing affordable and accessible care and this Cabinet will ensure that state-run programs complement national reform.”
Under Governor Rell’s direction, Connecticut was the first state to seek significant reimbursement under new federal law by converting state-administered general assistance (SAGA) to Medicaid.
The state has a number of far-reaching health initiatives that stand to benefit by the national law, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The state programs include:
· HUSKY (Healthcare for UninsSured Kids and Youth): Serves 260,000 children and teenagers and 126,000 parents, caregivers and pregnant women;
· Charter Oak Health Plan: Serves 14,000 previously uninsured adults of all incomes;
· Other programs: Health Reinsurance Association, SustiNet, Municipal Employees Health Insurance Program, Healthy Start, CT Homecare Program, CONNPace, CONNMap and Refugee Medical Assistance.
The Governor established the Health Care Reform Cabinet through Executive Order No. 43. The Cabinet will be led by Cristine Vogel, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, who oversees health care access. It will include commissioners or their designees from the Departments of Public Health, Social Services, Insurance, Mental health and Addiction Services, Developmental Disability Services, Children and Families, Revenue Services, Economic and Community Development, Information Technology and the Office of Policy and Management and the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority. (link to Executive Order).
The Cabinet is charged with providing transparent access to information, pursuing federal funds for a temporary high-risk insurance pool, creating a consumer-friendly health insurance purchasing exchange and reviewing insurance industry reforms to ensure Connecticut is ready for final implementation of the national law in 2014.
“The Cabinet will develop a strategy so that all Connecticut residents and businesses get the full benefit of the national law and what it is intended to provide – quality and affordable health care for all,” Governor Rell said.