Top 10 of 2017: #6 – Local Activists and Elected Officials Opposed Plans to Take Away Health Care Coverage

Many important stories have been covered by the New Britain Progressive in 2017. It may be difficult to name only a few articles as the top stories of the year, but there are a few the New Britain Progressive would like to share as our Top Ten.  Other Top Ten stories can be found at “Top Ten Stories of 2017.”


In 2017 local activists and elected officials took strong stands against Republican plans to take away health care access from people in New Britain and across the state and nation. Activists and elected officials rallied (“New Britain Rally Planned for July 10th to ‘Stop Trumpcare, Save Our Healthcare’” and “New Britain Rally Held to ‘Stop Trumpcare, Save Healthcare’“) against Republican plans to roll-back health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare”. The activists and Democratic elected officials warned that the plans would take health care coverage from 23 million Americans while giving tax cuts to the wealthy. Rep. Peter Tercyak (D-New Britain) also took a stand against a state budget plan that was approved by Republican state legislators with the help of a handful of Democratic legislators because it could take away health coverage to tens of thousands of Connecticut residents. (“Rep. Tercyak Opposes Republican Budget Plan That Could Cause 3,400 New Britain Residents to Lose Access to Medicaid Health Care“) The New Britain Progressive calculated that this Republican-led budget could have cost 3,400 New Britain residents access to health care, if it was not vetoed by Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT).

Spirited defense of health care coverage by activists and elected officials locally, in New Britain, made this the #6 story on the New Britain Progressive’s Top 10 of 2017.


New Britain Rally Planned for July 10th to “Stop Trumpcare, Save Our Healthcare”

July 6, 2017

With the health care of many New Britain residents at risk from Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare”, local activist Bobby Berriault has announced a rally to protest the repeal. The event, on July 10th, is being called a, “Stop Trumpcare, Save Our Healthcare Rally.” The rally is planned for 6:00pm to 7:00pm in front of the Access Health office at 200 Main Street in New Britain.

“We will be rallying in front of CT Access Health in New Britain, CT on Monday July 10 at 6pm to stop Trumpcare and Save Our Healthcare!”, said Berriault. Berriault, who is a Democratic candidate for City Council in this year’s elections, announced that State Rep. Peter Tercyak (D-New Britain) plans to speak at the event, as well as Democratic Board of Education member Merrill Gay, who is running for Mayor. Berriault says that more speakers and organizations backing the rally will be announced shortly.

“Trumpcare” is a name being given to various Republican proposals that critics say would reduce access to health care in order to provide tax cuts for the very wealthy.

“23+ million American’s will lose their health coverage particularly those who are poor, elderly, and sick if the Senate version of Trumpcare passes.” said Berriault. “We can not allow this to happen! We must take a stand for our brothers and sisters in our community and demand that the Senate does not pass any legislation that will drive up healthcare costs, make it harder for people to obtain the critical live saving treatments that they need to survive, and that will take away protections that are needed.”

Access Health, the location in front of which the rally is to be held, is the Connecticut health exchange, where people have been able to sign up for health coverage through the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

“What we need to do is to fight to ensure that every man, woman, and child in this country has equal access to high quality and affordable healthcare coverage,” added Berriault. “Healthcare is a universal right, and not just a privilege for the few. We will be rallying to show the American people and our elected representatives in Washington D.C. that we the people demand equal access to high quality affordable healthcare for all!”


New Britain Rally Held to “Stop Trumpcare, Save Healthcare”

July 11, 2017

Merrill Gay at the health care rally. Frank Gerratana photo.

About 70 people rallied in front of Access Health in New Britain to voice their opposition to Republican plans to cut access to health care and to express support for expanding health care access.

The rally, to “Stop Trumpcare, Save Healthcare,” was announced by organizers as a joint effort of the New Britain Democrats, Our Revolution – Central CT Chapter, Connecticut Young Democrats, Action Together Connecticut, Our Revolution-CT Team and other groups.

Sen. Terry Gerratana. Frank Gerratana photo.

“Trumpcare” is a name being given to various Republican proposals that critics say would reduce access to health care in order to provide tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Speakers at the rally included Rep. Peter Tercyak (D-New Britain), Sen. Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain), Democratic Mayoral candidate Merrill Gay and different activists, including Akai Long of the CCSU College Democrats.

Rally organizers say that the Republican U.S. Senate bill, as proposed, will impact Connecticut negatively in a number of different ways:

  • Medicaid reduction will cause as many as 200,000 residents to lose coverage. 1 out of every 5 Ct. residents relies on Medicaid for health care.
  • Two thirds of all nursing home patients are on Medicaid. With the new cap on funding thousands could lose their support.
  • Repeal of employee mandate and Cost Sharing provisions will result in 30 to 35% increase in premiums.
  • Eligibility changes will increase premiums for thousands of others.
  • $3 billion loss to state by the year 2026.
  • Seniors will pay dramatically higher premiums, as much as 70% more than they currently pay.
  • $6.8 million cut to Planned Parenthood.
  • Reduces or eliminates services for mental health, pregnant women, emergency care and opiod prevention and treatment. There were 900 opioids deaths in CT last year.
  • The bill would double the number of uninsured in CT.

Rep. Peter Tercyak. Frank Gerratana photo.

“23+ million American’s will lose their health coverage particularly those who are poor, elderly, and sick if the Senate version of Trumpcare passes.” said local activist and City Council candidate Bobby Berriault, when announcing the rally. “We can not allow this to happen!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rep. Tercyak Opposes Republican Budget Plan That Could Cause 3,400 New Britain Residents to Lose Access to Medicaid Health Care

October 14, 2017

Rep. Peter Tercyak (D-26-New Britain). Frank Gerratana photo.

New Britain State Representative Peter Tercyak (D-26) hosted a press conference this week to object to the Republican State Budget recently approved in the state legislature that he says would jeopardize the health care of tens of thousands of Connecticut residents, which would put thousands of New Britain residents at risk.

The state legislature’s Republicans approved their state budget plan when a handful of Democratic legislators also voted for the plan.

But Tercyak says that that budget plan would put the health care of 77,000 Connecticut residents at risk because of cuts to the Medicaid health care program.

Using data from the state’s Department of Public Health and Department of Social Services, the New Britain Progressive has calculated that 77,000 people losing access to Medicaid statewide could mean approximately 3,400 New Britain residents losing access to this health care coverage.

“The budget that passed in the General Assembly in September does not protect Connecticut’s most vulnerable,” said Rep. Tercyak.

But Gov. Dan Malloy (D) recently vetoed the Republican budget plan. “Because the Governor vetoed that bill,” said Tercyak, “we now have the opportunity to do the right thing and approve a budget that works for all people.”

Tercyak says that he wants a Connecticut state budget that is supportive of children, families, the elderly, and the disabled, saying that he is advocating for a state budget that considers revenue options that would preserve health care coverage. Tercyak said, “these options include; reducing corporate tax breaks by 10%. In 2017, corporate tax breaks cost the state $707 million; a low-wage employee fee to make up for employers who use state funded programs such as health care benefits for their workers; and legalizing marijuana for recreational use – and taxing it – to give Connecticut an advantage over neighboring states.”

House and Senate leaders have been meeting to negotiate a bipartisan state budget.


Additional relevant articles:

New Britain Residents Rally Against Republican Health Care Repeal, January 18, 2017.

Health Care Rally to be Held in New Britain’s Central Park on Saturday February 25th, February 23, 2017.