More on Health Care Wins at the Legislature

Posted 6/4/2018

HB 5384
On Thursday, May 31, Governor Malloy signed HB 5384 (PA 18-41), An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs, into law. This was one of POCCT's priority bills and represents a first step toward controlling prescription drug costs. 

Medicaid Restorations - Reflections from POCCT Organizers
As we celebrate the restoration of coverage for over 100,000 Medicare Savings Program participants and 13,000 working parents in HUSKY A, we want to thank everyone who contacted and met with legislators, who wrote letters to newspapers and who attended events to dramatize the need for action. Special thanks to the people who were affected by the cuts and bravely shared their stories with legislators and the media.

The work on this issue was led by Medicaid advocates and the Medicaid Strategy Group in particular. It started in late 2017 and didn’t stop until the budget was passed on May 9.

Protect Our Care CT organizers and the grassroots activists they work with played important roles in the final days of the legislative session. Here is a summary of their reports and reflections on that work. Some highlights:

From Rhona Cohen, New Britain/Hartford organizer: Sharena, a parent of four who, along with her husband, faced losing HUSKY health care coverage, told me that HUSKY coverage had made it possible for her family to gain a foothold in financial security. Before heading out to work, she allowed me into her home and shared her struggle and hopes with me.  I don't think she expected that telling her story would have any impact.  

From Teran Loeppke, New Haven and Faith-Based Organizer: Around 15 people gathered for a press conference at 11:00 am on Saturday May 5th, just 4 days before the end of the legislative session. At the press conference, we released a letter signed by over 100 Connecticut clergy which called the cuts morally unconscionable. We read Sharena’s statement, in which she shared her family’s story and pleaded with lawmakers to protect her family. We then sought out legislative leaders for conversations on the issue and continued to share the letter and Sharena's statement.

From Rhona: Sharena had no expectation that raising her voice could reverberate into the lives of so many others. The lesson for me is that one life shared is incredibly powerful. How much power can we build as more and more of us come together in hope to share our lives with each other, our communities and the world.

Jane McNichol