Insurance and Real Estate Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5435

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE COMMISSION ON HEALTH EQUITY.

Vote Date:

3/19/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/10/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill would make the Commission on Health Equity be placed within the Insurance Department for administrative purposes and allow the Commission to appoint an Executive Director.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Glenn Cassis, Chairperson, Connecticut Commission on Health Equity: testified that the purpose of The Commission on Health Equity is to affect legislation to improve the health outcomes of residents based on race, ethnicity, gender, and linguistic ability. In establishing the CHE the General Assembly recognizes that equal enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is a human right and priority of the state. It also recognizes that Connecticut residents experience barriers to the equal enjoyment of good health based on race, ethnicity, national origin, and linguistic ability. Addressing said barriers requires data collection and analysis and furthermore the development and implementation of policy solutions. When the Commission was established it was placed in the Office of Healthcare Advocate for administrative purposes only and funded through the Department of Insurance. Having OHA in the middle adds an unnecessary and unneeded layer for the Commission to navigate. It would be problematic for CHE to continue this relationship with OHA. The State Healthcare Advocate, Victoria Veltri, supports the recommendation to remove OHA's administrative responsibility for CHE. Since August 2014 when the Director of CHE resigned, the Director position has been unfilled. The Director reports to the chair of CHE programmatically and for management purposes. Even though this position is funded, without administrative support and guidance, it has been difficult for the Commission to fill the position. The proposed change will give the director the ability to hire staff as needed and as funds will allow. The CHE cannot function without its director. The commissioners were appointed to assist and guide.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

None expressed

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Expressed

Reported by: John McCann Jr.

Date: 03/30/2015