We couldn’t have done it without you!
This session Health Equity Solutions set out to advance legislation that would result in the standard collection of race, ethnicity, and language data across all state agencies, with more granular collection and reporting of the data. We were very successful in elevating the issue and highlighting the importance of data through our advocacy, which resulted as SB 465. While the bill didn’t make it out of committee, we quickly rallied around HB 5415, An Act Concerning the Collection and Usage of Health Equity Data. This bill made it out of committee but unfortunately did not move forward. But that’s not the end of our story!
Here are a few important wins this session
that impact health and equity!
Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements:
CT became the first state in the nation to pass legislation (SB 256) that would enable legislators to request Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements be done on legislation that has been favorably reported out of committee and amendments. Currently, statements can be requested for bills related to the criminal justice system. Racial Ethnic Impact Statements could reveal how any proposed legislation potentially worsens or resolves any racial and ethnic disparities. This could result in the passage of better informed policy decisions that would lead to a more equitable state for all Connecticut residents, regardless of race or ethnicity.
HB 5517 maintains the Chief Data Officer position, which is responsible for directing executive branch agencies in the use and management of data to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of state programs and policies. The bill maintains an online repository for the publication of open data and creates a state data plan and a CT Data Analysis Technology Advisory Board.
Maternal Mortality Review:
SB 304 established within the Department of Public Health a
maternal mortality review program and committee. These measures aim to identify maternal deaths and make recommendations for reducing these deaths by reviewing medical records and other relevant data related to each maternal death case.
Essential Health Benefits:
HB 5210 allow essential health coverage for women, children and adolescents. This bill requires certain health insurance policies to cover 10 essential health benefits, which are the same benefits the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These benefits include: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn health care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including, but not limited to, behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and, pediatric services, including, but not limited to, oral and vision care.
MSP and HUSKY A:
The legislature passed a budget that restored funding for HUSKY A which provides health insurance for low-income parents of minor children, and the Medicare Savings Program which provides assistance to low-income elderly and disabled individuals to pay for Medicare Part B insurance premiums.
While the 2018 legislative session has ended, Health Equity Solutions remains committed to our vision for
every Connecticut resident to obtain optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. We will continue to educate communities, providers and legislators about the importance of race, ethnicity and language data collection.