Donor Briefing: Health Care Access: What We Heard, What We Can Do

Highlights from the Donor Briefing with panelists David Hunter, Frances Padilla and Michael Taylor, moderated by Kenn Harris on October 3, 2017 at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Panelists David Hunter, Frances Padilla and Michael Taylor. Photo: Kathleen Cei

The Community Foundation recently hosted a discussion on "Health Care Access: Where Do We Go From Here?" — the fifth in this year's series of Donor Briefings on urgent issues affecting us locally and nationally.

What We Heard

The topic of health care access is not just timely but very important to The Community Foundation. We were pleased to be joined by a very impressive group of thought leaders for our panel discussion: David V. Hunter, President & Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wade; Frances G. Padilla, President, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut; and Michael Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center; moderated by Kenn Harris, Vice President of Community Engagement and Director of New Haven Healthy Start, The Community Foundation. Topics included how:

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made insurance accessible for thousands of people with pre-existing conditions and those who were previously priced out of insurance plans.
  • In 2017, Connecticut has an uninsured rate of 3.5%, down from 10% in 2010.
  • Federally-qualified health centers are funded to support their mission of delivering care to vulnerable populations, and the financial instability created by the repeal efforts and lack of funding will result in fewer people receiving care.
  • The underlying cost structure of health care is challenging and hospital/health system consolidation is making it more difficult.
  • Reductions in Medicare and Medicaid, and rolling back the Medicaid expansion would greatly impact our most vulnerable populations, including seniors, children and those with disabilities.

What We Can Do

Become politically engaged about health care.

  • Educate yourself on the issues and what is at stake. Protect Our Care CT can be a resource.
  • Ask your representatives if they know what is in the Governor's proposed cuts to Medicaid or the impact moving to federal block grants would mean in Connecticut. Learn how your legislators have voted on proposed legislation.
  • Encourage friends and family without health insurance to sign up on health insurance marketplaces like Access Health CT between Nov. 1- Dec. 15.
  • Watch the video of the event

The ACA is not perfect; it is a work in progress that has benefitted hundreds of thousands of residents in Connecticut alone. Michael Taylor summed it up well when he described what we are seeing in Washington and Hartford right now as more of a political problem than a policy problem. When we don't show up for the political process, we give our vote to ideology, not to facts.