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"We Can't Wait"

Council 4's Peter Thor holds one of the many signs ("A great state needs great health care") delivered to Gov. Rell.

Chanting slogans like "We Can't Wait: and "Sign the Bills," small business people, doctors, faith leaders and union members and many more held a rally and vigil at the State Capitol July 7 to urge Gov. Rell to sign into law two landmark health care bills, the Connecticut Health Care Partnership and Sustinet. The Governor has until July 8 to sign or veto the bills. (If she takes no action, they become law.)

“The current system is killing business and opportunity for recovery and growth. We can’t wait. We need this reform now,” Kevin Galvin, a West Harford businessman and chair of Small Businesses for Health Care Reform, told the crowd.

The rally and vigil were organized by Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut’s statewide grassroots mobilizing healthcare4every1 Campaign.

The Connecticut Healthcare Partnership legislation will allow municipalities, small businesses and non-profits to voluntarily join a self-insured state employee health plan. It would create a large pool of insured lives with increased bargaining power and lower costs, and through self-insurance would save the state an estimated $70 million upon implementation.

The SustiNet Plan provides a framework for health care reform based on the recommendations of a voluntary board of directors and advisory committees. The board will produce recommendations on how to make the SustiNet plan available to every citizen. The plan emphasizes evidence-based medicine, prevention, the medical home model of care, and controlling costs through system reforms such as electronic medical records.

“Passage of the two bills together will put the insurance capital of the country front and center of the national push for health care reform,” said Juan A. Figueroa, president of Universal Health Care Foundation.

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