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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

State Job Creation and Healthcare Initiatives in Connecticut and Massachusetts

December 5, 2011


Date: 12/05/2011 Location: Connecticut Description: Catherine Smith, Commissioner of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development briefing foreign press participating in a Foreign Press Center tour on State Job Creation in Connecticut - State Dept Image

December 5-9, 2011; Connecticut and Massachusetts
Contact: New York Foreign Press Centers Media Relations Officers Melissa Waheibi and Ariel Howard
Telephone: M. Waheibi - 646-282-2835, email: waheibimn@state.gov; A. Howard - 646-282-2832, email: howardan2@state.gov  

Journalists from Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, China and Japan participated in the New York Foreign Press Center’s  road trip to Connecticut and Massachusetts to look at two of the most significant issues for voters and politicians alike in the 2012 elections: jobs and healthcare. The tour appointments illustrated the diverse strategies that state governments are pursuing to address economic development and job creation, healthcare costs and regulation. The tour started in Connecticut at the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, a well-known survey organization where journalists met with political analysts and observed the polling operation. The journalists also met with Connecticut’s economic development commissioner and the state Senate’s Republican minority leader to understand better how the governor and legislature managed to pass a $626 million job creation package in October. In Massachusetts, one of the few U.S. states with a near universal health care program already in place, the journalists met with key figures in healthcare reform, including Dr. Jon Gruber, one of the architects of the Massachusetts law and President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Judy Ann Bigby. The group also visited a health care consumer advocacy organization and a local community medical center funded through stimulus funds.