Hearst Editorial Board: State Government Option ‘Might Be Dangerous’
HARTFORD, Conn. – As some Connecticut lawmakers push for the creation of a new state government-controlled health insurance system known as the state government option, the Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board is raising serious concerns about the bill’s unaffordable costs and negative consequences.
Unaffordable Costs & Past Failures:
- “The math just doesn’t work. It’s hard to see how taxpayers don’t end up with the bill.”
- “If it passes, it will be the state’s fifth or sixth attempt at such a plan. The previous attempts have disappointed. This one might too … How will this work when others haven’t?”
- “Strangely, ‘very little information on the Partnership Plan or the State Employment Plan are available publicly,’ says the Connecticut Health Policy Project. It took the crowbar of the state’s Freedom of Information Act to pry loose that information. The records show that Plan 2.0 had a deficit of nearly $32 million in fiscal 2019, the last normal year for insurers. Who covered that deficit? Taxpayers.”
- “Speaking of cost, let’s take a look at the price of the current plan. Partnership Plan 2.0 now costs $10,536 to $12,252 a year for single coverage. Private-sector insurers offer coverage for $7,607 per year on average.”
- “State Comptroller Kevin Lembo says making the new plan abide by the state regulations ‘would prevent all of the cost savings baked into the bill.’ That’s not very sporting. Other insurers must play by those rules. Why can’t the state?”
- Taxpayers “can be forgiven for wondering whether government should get out of the insurance business. Connecticut has other financial demands right now, including the billions of dollars it owes in debt.”
Lost Jobs & Economic Consequences:
- “Isn’t Connecticut supposed to be the insurance capital? It does seem odd that state government is competing with the state’s most famous industry. It might be dangerous too. Five top insurance executives have made clear that they can take their offices elsewhere.”
- “Connecticut can’t afford to lose any more jobs. Unemployment is already at 8.3 percent, two points above the national rate.”
- “By the way, CEOs aren’t the only opponents of this new plan. The 4,000-member union representing firefighters across Connecticut wants nothing to do with it.”
To read the full piece published today by the Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board, CLICK HERE.
To learn more about Connecticut’s Health Care Future, CLICK HERE.