Connecticut legislators propose near-universal health care plan

[JURIST] Lawmakers in Connecticut's House of Representatives [official website] have introduced a health care reform bill [text] aimed at providing coverage to the state's uninsured. The initiative introduced Tuesday positions Connecticut within the growing ranks of states that have recently proposed health care reform plans for their poor and uninsured residents. Massachusetts became the first state to require health care coverage for nearly all state residents last year when then-Governor Mitt Romney signed a mandatory health insurance bill [JURIST report].

The $900 million Connecticut plan would include tax credits for those small businesses employing substantial numbers of uninsured employees. Funding for the program would come, in part, from tobacco litigation settlements and from "provider" taxes on formerly tax-exempt entities such as hospitals, doctors and laboratories. "Vanity" sales taxes would also be levied against plastic surgery services and cigarettes. In addition, the program seeks federal reimbursement for Medicaid spending and health care coverage of uninsured children. Officials of state hospitals and physicians within the Connecticut State Medical Society [official website] are among the opponents to the plan, arguing that taxing physician services will not increase patient access to quality care. Reuters has more.

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