The MetroHartford Alliance is the Region's economic development leader and the City’s Chamber of Commerce, and our investors include businesses of all sizes, health care providers, arts and higher education institutions, and the municipalities of North Central Connecticut. Our mission is to ensure that the Region competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital, and talent so that it thrives as one of the country's premier places for all people to live, play, work, start and grow a business, and raise a family.
The Alliance appreciates the challenges policymakers face this legislative session and recognizes that the state’s fiscal shortfalls require a wide range of budget and policy options to be on the table. The many policy and budget decisions before Gov. Malloy and the legislature will have a direct impact on businesses, their employees, and the residents they serve. With this in mind, we encourage Connecticut’s elected officials to advance policies that will help increase economic activity, spur job creation, and increase the health and well-being of Connecticut residents.
The Alliance has consistently advocated for public policies that strengthen one of Connecticut’s most important economic assets, its dynamic health sector. In 2012 we launched the Connecticut Health Council (CHC), an initiative funded and supported by hospitals, biotech companies, medical schools, and professional practices. Under the CHC, health sector leaders work together to promote Connecticut as a premier center for the development of businesses, initiatives and technology that improve health care and wellness both nationally and in the state. Collaboration across the health sector not only strengthens the sector, but also offers a key critical advantage for Connecticut overall. As a component of the health sector, Connecticut’s hospitals and health systems are vitally important to our residents, economy and local communities.
Beyond their critical caregiving role, hospitals employ more than 100,000 people, making them the largest employers in many of their communities. Overall, Connecticut hospitals and health systems contribute $26.2 billion to the state and local economies each year with hospitals in the metro Hartford region alone (Hartford Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Johnson Memorial, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and John Dempsey Hospital) accounting for over $5.5 billion of that economic impact.
As healthcare policy and budgeting at the national level continues to evolve, we encourage state policymakers to maximize all Federal revenue opportunities and secure all available Medicaid funds. Maximizing Federal revenues can help to both alleviate Connecticut’s budget deficit and support the heath sector’s efforts to provide care. Such Medicaid funds will also help to address the ongoing “cost-shift” to employers that provide health insurance coverage to their employees. These “cost-shifts” cause employers to choose among several unpalatable options: absorbing increases as another cost of doing business in Connecticut; reallocating the increases to their employees; or evaluating other states for their operations.
Hospitals in the metro Hartford region and across Connecticut are drivers of innovation, job creation and economic growth. The Alliance urges policymakers to undertake actions that will ensure the receipt of all Federal dollars and an adequate level of Medicaid reimbursement to Connecticut hospitals to reduce the healthcare costs borne by private sector employers and their workers. By supporting our hospitals, we can continue to promote Connecticut as an international center of health excellence and the state’s health sector as a major driver of employment and investment growth.