The Connecticut Education Association and its 43,000 members are calling on Hartford HealthCare and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to end their negotiating impasse.
“The health and lives of many thousands of Connecticut residents are being held hostage by the inability of two large corporations to reach a fair agreement,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “Patients in need of care all across the state are having their lives turned upside down. Hartford HealthCare and Anthem must stop posturing while those in need of care are denied access to their doctors and hospitals.”
CEA is also backing a proposal for legislation that would require binding arbitration when health care insurers and hospital networks cannot reach agreement. The legislation is being proposed by State Senate President Martin Looney.
“Using patients as pawns in a game to enhance profits is unacceptable,” Cohen said. “Hartford HealthCare and Anthem provide care to many thousands of Connecticut residents. When they cannot agree, they should be required to negotiate and resolve their differences in good faith, and in a timely manner.”
If an agreement is not reached by Thanksgiving, CEA is asking Democrats and Republicans to convene and join together to pass legislation that would provide an expedited arbitration process.
“As we speak, patients are making hard choices about surgical procedures, chemotherapy, and other critical care, knowing that they will pay many thousands of dollars out of pocket that would otherwise be covered by their insurance,” explained Cohen. “The dereliction of duty by Hartford HealthCare and Anthem must end now.”
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.