Testimony on Bill 1S.B 1090: An Act Establishing A Commission To Study A HUSKY For All Single Payer, Universal Health Care Program

Human Services Committee

March 30, 2021

Submitted by: Stephen Wanczyk-Karp, LMSW

On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, representing over 2,300 members statewide we offer our strong support of S.B. 1090.

Connecticut needs a health care system for all of our residents. What we have now is a health care fragmentation arena that leaves out far too many lower income households, immigrants and employees of small businesses. For those who are uncovered, preventative care is not an option, leaving these residents to seeking care only when their health conditions are advanced, at a higher financial cost and personal cost. This leads to uncompensated care for providers and medical debt to the consumer. A single payer system will cover all residents under one coordinated program, eliminating these issues.

Rising health care costs threatens the well-being of too many Connecticut residents. Family coverage in Connecticut averages over $20,000 per year, eating up over a quarter of many family incomes, and costs go up every year, often by double digit amounts.  A public sector single payer system however will stem this alarming increase in premiums by covering all, paid for in taxation by all, and eliminating profit making by private insurers. Health care coverage should not be a means to make profits for corporations.

The most cost-effective health insurance programs are Medicaid and Medicare that both have kept rate increases down in single digits and administrative costs to a minimum. Over half of the population is covered by a public insurance plan: Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans. It is time that a 100% of the state’s residents have the benefits of public health coverage.

S.B. 1090 is a study bill of the feasibility and advantages of a single payer system. It does not mandate a single payer program, it simply study’s such a program. We should not be afraid to study the possibilities.

Health care needs to be a right and in one of the wealthiest states in the nation, Connecticut should lead the way in making health care covered for all od our residents.

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