ICYMI: ‘Connecticut Can’t Afford State Government-Run Health Insurance’
HARTFORD, Conn. – In a new op-ed for the CT Mirror, small business-owner Mike Licamele writes that the proposed state government option “would end up costing hardworking Connecticut residents, families, and small businesses more in the way of higher taxes while failing to improve healthcare overall. Now is the worst possible time for lawmakers to experiment with unproven systems that could destabilize local healthcare providers while increasing costs and putting our economy at risk.”
Licamele points out that “if history teaches us anything, it’s that government healthcare programs administered by our state or others are anything but” affordable. He continues:
Look no further that the State Comptroller’s stewardship of the Connecticut Municipal Partnership plan. That plan lost $31.9 million in 2019, tripling its losses from the previous year.
Connecticut taxpayers were the backstop to subsidize those losses, and I’m fearful that if SB 842 becomes law then we will have even bigger losses and taxpayer funded bailouts. If there is any risk fund created under SB 842, small businesses who opt-in to the plan will also have to be the backstop in the future.
As a small-business owner, I am particularly concerned with how the cost of such a massive government program will be paid for. Healthcare is already one of the highest costs for small businesses like mine, and the state government-run health care system proposed under SB 842 would only add to those costs. Given the economic uncertainty the pandemic has caused, small businesses are already struggling as it is without piling on new costs and higher taxes.
And make no mistake, we will all see our taxes go up in order to finance such a bloated, government-controlled system. I do not believe a state government-run health care approach will benefit hardworking, middle-class folks like me.
Meanwhile, a new poll conducted by Locust Street Group on behalf of Connecticut’s Health Care Future finds that a majority of Connecticut voters do not support the proposed state government option and are satisfied with their current health coverage and care. The poll of 800 likely voters in Connecticut reveals that a majority want lawmakers to build on and improve the current health care system rather than start over with a new state government-controlled health insurance system such as the state government option.
The poll’s key findings include:
- A majority of Connecticut voters do NOT support the state government option (only 36 percent support).
- 80 percent of voters prefer for lawmakers to BUILD ON Connecticut’s health care system rather than create a new state government option.
- Voters are especially CONCERNED about the impacts of the state government option on access to quality care (77 percent), jobs/economic growth (74 percent), and costs (72 percent).
- 82 percent of voters are UNWILLING to pay more in health care costs and 78 percent are UNWILLING to pay more in taxes to finance the cost of the state option.
In fact, the poll shows that during this critical time Connecticut voters want state lawmakers to focus on jobs and the economy: 60 percent of voters ranked the economy and jobs as one of their two most important issues for the state government to address, while 48 percent ranked taxes as one of their top two most important issues. Only 30 percent of voters believe health care is among the two most important issues for state lawmakers to address.