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Private Funding Boost for Connecticut Health Reform Effort

May 19, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - When Connecticut's SustiNet health care plan was passed by the legislature last year, it did not include funding for the 11-member board also created to move the program toward implementation. Now, four foundations have stepped in to provide the money for that effort, a total of $615,000. In making these expenditures, they say their goal is quality health care that is equitable, accessible and affordable.

The Universal Health Care Foundation, a prime mover behind SustiNet, is contributing $150,000. Frances Padilla, the foundation's acting president, says the funds will be used to hire experts in many areas of health policy to advise the SustiNet board as they draft a plan to present to the General Assembly in January.

"They have tremendous expertise on quality and cost; tremendous expertise in Medicaid; a great deal of expertise in insurance market reform."

Another $300,000 is from the Connecticut Health Foundation, where President and CEO Patricia Baker says passing the law was the first step.

"But health reform is only a promise. It's really up to us, which is why we've come together to really bring the resources, the knowledge, the expertise, to fulfill that promise."

According to Baker and Padilla, the new funding agreement marks a key step in the use of private-public partnerships. The other two contributing foundations are the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Lead Trust of Boston ($90,000) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ($75,000).

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT