It’s HERE! National Public Health Week!

Woooo! Check out the cool events this week!

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Health Care Reform Proposals Hearing Today!

Wednesday, June 24th: Streamline video available on http://www.cnn.com/.

Sign the SustiNet petition!

 A note from the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. Please sign and forward!

SustiNet has passed the state House and Senate and will arrive on the Governor’s desk very soon.  Please add your name to the call for Governor Rell to sign SustiNet into law.

Sign the petition

We need your signature on the petition, but we also need you to reach out to your friends, family, and networks and ask them to sign it as well.  Time is short — we want to have all of our signatures ready by Monday, June 15. 

Once Governor Rell has the bill, we will deliver your signatures to her office.  Tell Governor Rell — Connecticut needs health care we can all count on!

More information:
SustiNet Explained (pdf)
House vote
Senate vote
Language of SustiNet — Public Act 09-148

Taking my ideas to Congress!

Hey YPH blog readers,

Sorry it’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ve been busy presenting my ideas for health reform to Congress! This past Monday, the Roosevelt Institution as well as Senator Bingaman and Senator Lugar helped me organize a briefing in the Capitol for me to present my new Brookings Institution paper on automatic enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP.

We had a number of really top experts from think tanks across DC discussing my paper, which was a little intimidating, but also really cool. Overall people really seemed to like it, and now we’re going to begin the task of trying to get the idea included in health care reform!

I can’t wait to hear more aboutwhat you’re all up to this summer…

SustiNet vote today!

The Connecticut House of Representatives votes on SustiNet today!

Check out the video from the recent SustiNet day of action (If you look really closely at the end, you can see our “Yale Supports Sustinet” sign…)

Read my Brookings Paper!

After months of hard work, my 50-page paper for the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project is finally finished! Click here to learn about my proposed policy of Effortless Enrollment, an innovative strategy to use existing information to enroll millions of uninsured, low-income families while saving about $3.2 billion in administrative costs each year. Hopefully you’ll see it included in health care reform this year…

Also, if you’re around DC this summer, stop by a Senate briefing that I’m doing on June 1st!

Full abstract below the fold:

Traditional, paper-based enrollment strategies have failed to reach nearly 10 million uninsured Americans who are eligible for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) but are not enrolled. Automatic enrollment, the process of electronically identifying eligible beneficiaries and enrolling them by default, is a promising new strategy that can help close these gaps. The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) authorizes a new state option for automatic enrollment, which, if implemented to the fullest extent, can be the basis for covering nearly all eligible families in an effortless enrollment system that does not require any forms to be submitted by the beneficiary.

This paper proposes a policy of effortless enrollment that uses existing information from the tax system and other secure government databases to enroll eligible families in Medicaid and SCHIP without the need for those families to complete an application or renewal form. States already use tax data to verify eligibility in public programs, so using this information to determine eligibility promises to be both accurate and feasible. If fully realized, the effortless enrollment policy is expected to cover more than 8 million uninsured children and adults, while saving about $3.2 billion in administrative costs each year.

By examining enrollment in Medicaid and SCHIP, two of the most complicated means-tested health insurance programs, this paper offers a model that can be used to expand health coverage to all. Opt-out policies that leverage existing information will not only reduce the hassles of health insurance enrollment for everyday Americans, but also can reduce unnecessary administrative costs for the government, thus allowing more taxpayer money to be spent on care that people need. Overall, by reducing bureaucracy while increasing access to benefits, effortless enrollment provides a new paradigm for efficient and effective government.

What do we want? SustiNet! When do we want it? NOW!

When one in four Connecticut residents my age don’t have health insurance it’s time to take to the streets! Today is SustiNet lobby day part II: a statewide rally at the Capitol. Unfortunately most Yalies have left town by now, but I’ll be representing us with some homemade signs…

Any ideas for good rally chants?? Here’s one that the UConn students used when they protested outside the Governor’s mansion the other day

I don’t know but I’ve been told… Governor Rell is mighty cold!
I don’t know but it seems to me… SustiNet is what should be!