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Nutmeggers Pipe Up on State's Health Care Plan

December 6, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - While federal health reform will take a few more years to fully roll out, more than 200 people have been working on the plan to implement Connecticut's own health reform law, known as SustiNet. It must be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration by January 1 – but first, members of the public can weigh in on the plan.

State Comptroller and incoming Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman has served as co-chair of the SustiNet board. She says public hearings are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 6 and Tuesday, December 7 to learn about the board's priorities.

"We believe that we have to expand coverage and access to those people that don't have it; bring health care under one roof and try to deliver it more efficiently."

She says annual health costs in the state are currently $7 billion, and efforts to reduce that amount are critical. The SustiNet board will brief the Legislature on December 16; Wyman says the public input may be part of the discussion.

"We'll tell them what we've been talking about and, when they come up to speak, if they have a different proposal – if they have some ideas we don't have – we'll take them, look at it, and see if we can incorporate it."

The board is considering prevention programs to improve outcomes, she adds.

"We have to look at the public health investments on obesity prevention and preventing tobacco use, improving community infrastructure to support healthy lifestyles."

The meetings are Monday, Dec. 6, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Career Regional High School, 140 Legion Ave., New Haven; and Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Legislative Office Building, Room 1-D, Hartford.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT