The legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee was close to passing two universal health care proposals out of committee Tuesday afternoon.

The bills HB 6652 and 1371 were both stripped of their funding mechanisms before the vote began but the intent of both remained.

State Rep. John Geragosian, D-New Britain, called the vote, which will be held open until 4 p.m. today “monumental.” He said, “It’s important we have a full debate on health care reform.”

He said the vote was also “symbolic” because the Insurance Committee is known as “insurance industry friendly” and passing the bills out of committee means legislators are acknowledging the system is broken. 

Keep reading to see what the Universal Health Care Foundation said about the vote in a press release Tuesday.

“Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut applauds the leadership shown today by the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, especially co-chairmen Brian O’Connor and Joe Crisco, in moving legislation that would lead to affordable health insurance for all Connecticut residents.

Passing the bill titled “Connecticut Saves Health Program” (S.B. 1371) is a victorious first step toward comprehensive change. The committee’s vote acknowledges that incremental steps are not the way to fix our state’s broken health care system. A complete transformation of our health care system is needed to control skyrocketing costs and meet the health care needs of every man, woman and child in our state.

Voters are demanding bold change in our health care system. In the voter survey the foundation released earlier this week, an overwhelming majority of Connecticut voters said that they want universal health care and feel legislators do not devote enough time to the issue. In fact, almost half—46 percent – ranked achieving universal health care as their number 1 priority.

The Insurance and Real Estate Committee’s action today responds to those concerns. This bill will bring Connecticut closer to achieving quality affordable health care for everyone. It is the best vehicle thus far in the health care debate for achieving this goal.”