As most of you know, the parish belongs to CONECT, Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut. We are a wonderful mix of Congregations, ethnically and religiously diverse, from cities and towns all across Fairfield and New Haven counties. Part of what we do is work for the common good on issues that come out of problems facing members of our Congregations. We organize people power to take on issues that have great power on the other side that no one person or congregation could handle on their own.
One of our big success stories is working to get the State of Connecticut to hold public hearings when insurance companies try to raise rates excessively. Until we arrived on the scene insurance companies could just raise health care rates without anyone saying no. We got a bill through the legislature calling for public hearings if the rates went above a certain level. Governor Malloy vetoed the bill, but after we negotiated with him, he agreed to have the State Health Care Advocate call for hearings for rate increases above 15%. That happened last summer, and we testified at such a hearing and the insurance companies were forced to accept rates that saved Connecticut citizens millions of dollars.
This year it is happening again. Anthem is trying to raise rates by 28%, Aetna by 27%, and ConnecticutCare by 13-19%. There will be public hearings at the capital on August 3rd and 4th. Conect will again go to testify, and we are looking for small business owners who will be affected by large rate increases who might be willing to tell their stories. If you would like to help, contact our lead organizer, Matt McDermott at
What Conect does is organize people and money so that we can have a say in the public arena. Our issues cross political lines, and our goal is to get powerful institutions to do the right thing. I am proud of our participation and am especially pleased that the newest Congregation is Temple Shalom in West Norwalk. So, stay tuned for exciting developments this fall.