In October, President Donald Trump announced new regulations that loosen the requirements that employers provide coverage for contraceptives, which was a pillar of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Trump’s government expanded the reasons an employer could skip out on coverage on moral or religious objections. If in the recent weeks your employer just got religion, you should know why. Trump is messing with a woman’s important right to accessible and affordable birth control. The birth control mandate, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “had a large impact in a short amount of time.” Within two years of the policy taking effect, says Kaiser, just 3 percent of women with employer-sponsored insurance had out-of-pocket expenses for oral contraceptives (the most expensive and the most popular kind).
On the surface, it looks as if Connecticut children fare pretty well. According to the annual Kids Count report from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the state ranks fourth in education, third in health, and sixth in overall well-being for children. The foundation pointed to nearly universal health insurance—97 percent—for Connecticut’s children as a major contributor to the state’s high ranking. Of all the states, Connecticut also had the lowest rate of deaths among children ages 1 to 19: 15 deaths per 100,000 children. But that’s not the entire story, not by half.
With health care in the headlines, the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is hosting a public forum Monday at Quinnipiac University’s North Haven campus that will feature a panel of experts weighing in on the high costs of health care. The forum, “Drowning in Health Care Costs: All Hands on Deck,” features prominent author Steven Brill, whose 36-page cover story in Time magazine in February 2013 delved into the arbitrary and largely hidden system of hospital pricing. Brill will be joined by Patrick Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Hospital in Derby, and Kevin Lembo, state comptroller. Journalist Susan Campbell, a contributor to the Connecticut Health I-Team, will moderate the discussion. The event is the first in a series of forums planned by the foundation and its parent organization, the Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust (CHART), to discuss health care challenges facing the state.
Joyce Hodgson has always worked and at times she’s had excellent health insurance. Five years ago, she became executive director of Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall, where she is the only paid person on staff – and has no health insurance.