Connecticut -- still known as the insurance capital of the United States even with takeovers and significant layoffs in the industry -- might be the last state conventional wisdom would expect to break new ground in the fight for universal health care. But it could well happen. Strong advocates and legislative proponents, significant business support for real change, and an innovative health-care foundation implementing a well-funded broad-based organizing campaign are positioning Connecticut to provide national leadership on the issue.
Former Sen. John Edwards' decision last month to accept public financing for the Democratic primaries made news because all the other leading candidates had abandoned the public system in favor of relying on private donations. But Edwards later clarified that he would not rule out accepting private funds for the general election. The reality is that the present presidential public-financing system isn't working and that all the leading Democratic contenders have endorsed fixing it.