A group of cardiologists announced Tuesday that they are withdrawing their support for SustiNet, Connecticut’s universal health care proposal, which seems to have also lost the support of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Cardiology said an amendment adopted earlier this month by the Public Health Committee stripped away the medical malpractice liability protections for doctors participating in the plan.
“The elimination of this key provision, will result in a dramatic increase in the cost of healthcare in Connecticut, and more patient exposure to tests of limited value that could have been avoided under the original bill,” said Dr. Neal Lippman, president of the organization.
Three other physician groups were still pondering their support for the proposal earlier this month, but the cardiologists were the only organization to officially withdraw their support for it. Meanwhile, the organizations are still lobbying lawmakers to get the provision added back to the legislation.
The open letter drafted by the cardiologists will appear in several Connecticut newspapers Wednesday morning.
The Universal Health Care Foundation, which helped provide the financial support and consultants to policymakers as they drafted the legislation, encouraged the cardiologists to continue to raise their voices over the liability provision.
“The medical liability provision, which has been removed from the bill, represented an important step forward in improving access and encouraging more positive practices in the medical field,” Juan Figueroa, president of the Universal Health Care Foundation, said. “It, however, was just one of many components in the bill designed to improve the way Connecticut delivers health care.”
The SustiNet bill has since passed two other committees and is headed to the floor of the House so it can receive a fiscal note. Supporters continue to tout how its synergy to the federal reform and say it will save the state money by tapping into more federal funds.
Malloy has said while he supports the underlying goals of affordable and accessible health care, he’s concerned about how much it will cost the state to set up and administer. Malloy has opted instead to support the creation of the federal health insurance exchanges.