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Democrats unveil sweeping overhaul of public option bill


The CT Mirror

May 23, 2019

Supporters of a controversial effort to create a public health insurance option announced a new and dramatically expanded proposal Thursday that would establish the “Connecticut Option” – a state-sponsored plan offered to individuals and small businesses that don’t have employer-subsidized coverage.

To help pay for it, lawmakers want to re-establish the penalty for failing to comply with the federal health coverage mandate. The bill would effectively reverse– in Connecticut– Congress’ decision to remove the edict in the Affordable Care Act that all adults have health insurance, either through their jobs, Medicaid or by purchasing it directly.

The statute would create a state mandate, which proponents estimate would raise $25 million annually in penalties paid by those who don’t comply with the requirement.

© Copyright 2019, The Connecticut News Project. All Rights Reserved.

Deidre Gifford, top Medicaid official, named to lead DSS

The CT Mirror

May 24, 2019

Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday named Dr. Deidre Gifford, a physician and top federal Medicaid official with a background in systems reform, as his choice to lead one of Connecticut’s largest bureaucracies, the state Department of Social Services.

The nomination nearly completes Lamont’s cabinet and meets his goal of finding a Medicaid expert to oversee a department with nearly 1,600 employees and a budget of more than $4 billion, including $2.5 billion for recipients of Medicaid.

“I want to refocus our energy to improve the delivery of these services utilizing innovative tools that increase the value and outcomes for consumers while also producing cost-saving efficiencies for the agency,” Lamont said. “This is exactly what drew my attention to Dr. Gifford – she has many years of experience doing exactly this both on the state and federal level.”

Gifford will take over DSS on June 21, succeeding Roderick Bremby, the commissioner during both terms of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the General Assembly.

© Copyright 2019, The Connecticut News Project. All Rights Reserved.



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