ICYMI: ‘Connecticut Public Option Could Hurt Small Business & Taxpayers’

HARTFORD,  Conn. – In an op-ed recently published by The CT Mirror, Kevin Maloney, president and owner of Northeast Express Transportation, highlights how the creation of a new state government-controlled health insurance system, known as the “public option,” could negatively impact Connecticut small businesses.

Maloney references a recent study conducted by KNG Health Consulting, noting, “the study finds that Connecticut’s state revenue could plummet by between $71 million and $122 million in just one year. To make up for this shortfall, lawmakers, including the governor, would likely push to increase taxes and assessments on health insurers or raise taxes on small businesses and families. As we continue to battle COVID-19 and work toward our economic recovery, the last thing that Connecticut businesses and residents need are higher taxes.”

In addition to tax increases, the KNG study finds that the public option could result in:

  • Higher Premiums: Premiums could increase for workers and their families, including for those whose employers do not take up the public option.
  • Higher Taxes: If the state did not reduce provider reimbursement rates, the state would likely have to collect between $816 million to $1.152 billion to replace lost tax revenue and secure financial footing.
  • Decreased Access To Quality Care: The study estimates that provider reimbursement rates would likely have to be cut by 15 percent. This could negatively impact Connecticut residents’ access to the quality care they need.
  • Fewer Connecticut Residents Covered: The number of uninsured individuals under the public option could increase, depending on the rate of “take up” among employers. In four out of the six scenarios modeled by KNG, the increase in the number of uninsured ranges from nine thousand to 29 thousand.

Maloney writes: “Connecticut residents should be encouraged by the tremendous progress that has been made in expanding access to affordable health care to more people. More than 100,000 Connecticut residents enrolled in coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange during the recent open enrollment period, and an estimated 40,000 Connecticut residents qualify for Covered Connecticut, which offers free premiums, copays and deductibles, thanks to the federal improvements through the American Rescue Plan Act. We know what’s working and should be building on that success, but some Connecticut politicians insist on starting over from scratch.”

Instead of creating a new state government-controlled health insurance system, policymakers should be working together to improve our current system and increase participation in existing free or low cost programs to help bring affordable health coverage to more Connecticut residents.

To read the full op-ed, CLICK HERE

To read the full KNG study, CLICK HERE.