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Public Option on Tap?

February 9, 2012

HARTFORD, Conn. - People in red t-shirts were back at the state capitol and legislative office buildings on Wednesday to kick off this year's campaign for a public option for health insurance. Steve Jennings, North Haven, was one of them.

Jennings is a member of the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care. The statewide body has been conducting a grassroots letter-writing campaign on the issue, he says.

"We want the public option to be a consumer-friendly policy so that individuals who are uninsured will be able to afford health insurance."

He says the number of Nutmeggers without insurance has spiked 30 percent since the recession started, to more than 400,000.

Advocates are focusing on both the Health Care Exchange Board and the Governor's Health Care Cabinet. Those entities must come up with an alternative to the current for-profit insurance market by Oct. 1, Jennings says.

"The public option needs to be included as part of the health care exchange so that people will be able to compare policies."

Other alternatives, such as a health insurance co-op, are also possible.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT