Two Connecticut Democratic Candidates: Both Favor Universal Health Care

–via the New Haven Independent

Malloy, DeStefano Battle Over Universal Health Care

by Melinda Tuhus

August 7, 2006

They both want it. The question: How to pay for it? As the “other” Democratic primary race in Connecticut heads to the finish line Aug. 8 – the one that’s not Lieberman v. Lamont, but Dan Malloy v. John DeStefano for the Democratic nomination for governor – the focus on the candidates’ dueling plans for universal health coverage has moved front and center.

Malloy’s camp aired a commercial in early August showing DeStefano’s head on the body of a pregnant woman and a mother holding a baby to challenge his commitment to women’s health issues. (While some called the ad clever, it may have backfired, as many women protested that it was in poor taste, and it can’t be found on Malloy’s own website.) Then, over the weekend, some supporters from each camp picketed the other candidate’s headquarters over the issue.

The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut is happy with both plans, says foundation president Juan Figueroa, knowing that whoever wins the primary will carry the issue forward to the general election and to Gov. Jodi Rell. Rell so far has not said much at all about what both Democrats call Connecticut’s health care crisis, and who has not yet presented her own plan.

The foundation’s position is that any viable plan for universal health care must be affordable, portable, provide access for all, and be economically sustainable by society. Figueroa says both plans meet these criteria, at least potentially (because they are concepts, not plans that have been operationalized). “The difference is in how they are financed,” says Figueroa.

But as the race tightens to practically a dead heat and heads down to the wire, both campaigns are drawing all kinds of distinctions between their plans. Below are summaries of each plan, and critiques by each side of the other’s plan. (Full descriptions can be found here and here.)

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