Healthcare Reform









Dear President Obama, Senators Dodd & Lieberman, & Representatives Courtney, DeLauro, Himes, Larson, & Murphy:

As leaders in the State of Connecticut, we urgently call on you, to take up and pass comprehensive health care reform in 2009.

The serious problems with health care in America – ever-rising costs, limited access, inconsistent quality, waste and inefficiency – converge in the states. The effects of these problems stress state budgets, exhaust family resources, result in lost worker productivity, stifle entrepreneurial spirit, and literally cause tens of thousands of deaths each year.

Our disjointed health care system has formed a choke-hold on our economy, limiting job growth and economic development. We cannot fix the economy without fixing health care.

Over the past decade, state legislatures have debated and implemented a myriad of reforms to bring affordability, quality and fairness to health care in America – designing solutions that reflect each state's unique economic, social, and geographic factors. States play a vital role in the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans by administering and helping to fund public programs like Medicaid and SCHIP, enacting innovations to expand access to public and private coverage, and serving as watchdogs of health insurance companies and other players.

Yet, states cannot achieve affordable health care for all without the investment, leadership and partnership of the federal government. Successful reform requires robust federal-state collaboration.

Key priorities for reform are reflected in state initiatives, such as those recently passed by the Connecticut General Assembly. The Connecticut Healthcare Partnership proposal, which pools together different employee groups under the state employees' health plan, would result in savings for municipalities, small businesses and non-profits, while increasing access. The SustiNet plan lays out a framework for expanding access to high quality coverage to more residents, while containing costs, promoting preventive care, and laying a groundwork for federal health care reform.

Americans recognize that the private sector alone has proven incapable of creating a high-quality, fair, and accountable health care system that works for all families. Therefore, a key priority for reform is the choice of a public health insurance plan that is available to businesses, individuals, and families. Another key priority is strengthening and expanding the Medicaid program with the help of enhanced federal support so that it can serve all low-income Americans. Related priorities include: guaranteeing affordability for individuals and businesses; preserving consumer choice of doctors; eliminating racial, ethnic, and rural health disparities; ensuring shared responsibility among employers, individuals and government in financing health care; and, cost containment strategies that eliminate waste and inefficiency and improve quality, especially for people with chronic illnesses.

Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure. The recently passed economic recovery package includes a number of positive health care measures, but these do not remove states from the critical list. Achieving a high-performing, affordable and quality health care system for all U.S. residents is central to a sustainable economic recovery and to the health and financial security of all families, businesses, and governments.

We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of high quality, affordable health care for all.



Rep. Christopher G. Donovan,
House Speaker

Sen. Donald E. Williams, Jr.,
President Pro-Tempore

Attorney General
Richard Blumenthal

Secretary of the State
Susan Bysiewicz

Denise L. Nappier

State Comptroller
Nancy Wyman


Rep. Denise W. Merrill,
House Majority Leader

Sen. Martin M. Looney,
Senate Majority Leader

Rep. Minnie Gonzalez

Rep. Kelvin Roldan

Rep. Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey

Rep. Hector L. Robles


Rep. Douglas McCrory

Rep. Joan A. Lewis

Rep. Jason Rojas

Rep. Henry J. Genga

Rep. Timothy D. Larson

Rep. Ryan P. Barry


Rep. John W. Thompson

Rep. David A. Baram

Rep. Andrew M. Fleischmann

Rep. Beth Bye

Rep. David McCluskey

Rep. Demetrios S. Giannaros


Rep. Elizabeth A. Boukus

Rep. Tim O'Brien

Rep. John C. Geragosian

Rep. Peter A. Tercyak

Rep. Sandy H. Nafis

Rep. Russell A. Morin


Rep. Antonio Guerrera

Rep. Joe Aresimowicz

Rep. Thomas J. Kehoe

Rep. James A. O'Rourke

Rep. Joseph C. Serra

Rep. Gail K. Hamm


Rep. James F. Spallone

Rep. Ed Jutila

Rep. Elizabeth Ritter

Rep. Ernest Hewett

Rep. Edward E. Moukawsher

Rep. Elissa T. Wright


Rep. Tom Reynolds

Rep. Diana S. Urban

Rep. Mae Flexer

Rep. Steven T. Mikutel

Rep. Melissa M. Olson

Rep. Linda A. Orange


Rep. Susan M. Johnson

Rep. Bryan Hurlburt

Rep. Claire L. Janowski

Rep. Ted C. Graziani

Rep. Kathleen M. Tallarita

Rep. Karen Jarmoc


Rep. Peggy Sayers

Rep. Matthew J. Conway

Rep. Maryanne Hornish

Rep. Roberta B. Willis

Rep. Michelle L. Cook

Rep. Larry B. Butler


Rep. Jeffrey J. Berger

Rep. David Aldarondo

Rep. Christopher A. Wright

Rep. Frank N. Nicastro

Rep. John "Corky" Mazurek

Rep. Bruce Zalaski


Rep. Emil Altobello

Rep. Catherine F. Abercrombie

Rep. Mary M. Mushinsky

Rep. Steve Fontana

Rep. Brendan Sharkey

Rep. Vickie O. Nardello


Rep. Mary G. Fritz

Rep. Peter F. Villano

Rep. Patricia A. Dillon

Rep. Toni E. Walker

Rep. Gary A. Holder-Winfield

Rep. Juan R. Candelaria


Rep. Cameron C. Staples

Rep. Robert W. Megna

Rep. Patricia M. Widlitz

Rep. Michael P. Lawlor

Rep. Matthew Lesser

Rep. Deborah W. Heinrich


Rep. Lonnie Reed

Rep. Elizabeth Esty

Rep. Linda M. Gentile

Rep. Theresa W. Conroy

Rep. Christopher Lyddy

Rep. Joseph J. Taborsak


Rep. Bob Godfrey

Rep. Stephen D. Dargan

Rep. Louis P. Esposito

Rep. Paul Davis

Rep. Barbara L. Lambert

Rep. Richard Roy


Rep. Terry Backer

Rep. Charles D. Clemons

Rep. Christopher L. Caruso

Rep. Jack F. Hennessy

Rep. Andres Ayala

Rep. Auden Grogins


Rep. Ezequiel Santiago

Rep. Thomas J. Drew

Rep. Kim Fawcett

Rep. Joseph S. Mioli

Rep. Chris Perone

Rep. Kevin Ryan


Rep. Bruce V. Morris

Rep. Peggy Reeves

Rep. Jim Shapiro

Rep. Patricia B. Miller

Rep. Gerald M. Fox

Rep. William Tong


Rep. Carlo Leone

Rep. Kenneth P. Green

Rep. Jason W. Bartlett

Sen. John Fonfara

Sen. Andrew Maynard

Sen. Anthony J. Musto


Sen. Thomas A. Colapietro

Sen. Bob Duff

Sen. Gary LeBeau

Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr.

Sen. Mary Ann Handley

Sen. Andrea Stillman


Sen. Edward Meyer

Sen. Toni Harp

Sen. Edith G. Prague

Sen. Thomas P. Gaffey

Sen. Ed Gomes

Sen. Donald DeFronzo