ICYMI – The Latest News On Connecticut’s Health Care Future

HARTFORD, Conn. – In case you missed it, here are the latest developments with regard to the proposed state government-controlled health insurance system in Connecticut, also known as the state government option. 

The Hartford Courant reports that Governor Ned Lamont made comments yesterday morning regarding the proposed state government health insurance option:

[Governor Lamont] repeated his criticism of a public option health care measure that would expand state government’s role in health insurance by extending pooled insurance now available to municipal employees to small businesses and individuals. The governor spoke out against any provision in which taxpayers would have to step in and finance deficits that might result. The [Connecticut Business & Industry Association(CBIA)] has clashed with Comptroller Kevin Lembo, saying the municipal fund administered by his office has been in the red. Lembo disputes the business criticism. “You don’t want the taxpayers subsidizing and you don’t want the taxpayers underwriting a lot of the risk there,” Lamont said. “We’ve been underwriting pensions and debt and stuff for a long time and that’s not the way to go.” He said Connecticut should instead look at joining preferred health care networks and ways to reduce drug costs.

Meanwhile, it was reported that Connecticut lawmakers last week received a letter from the Teamsters union urging them to reject the proposed state public option:

According to the Teamsters, the public option bill “is a misguided and troubling attempt to create a ‘one-size’ fits all government run plan that would dramatically impact our operations and negatively impact our members ability to access positive health benefit plans we have designed, maintained, and funded over the years.” 

“Our healthy, well-funded, Teamsters Union health benefit plans with a large, stable workforce are the targets of this legislation, in a misguided attempt to stabilize and subsidize the other plan types and we vigorously oppose this approach to Senate Bill 842,” the union wrote.

The Teamsters, who count 20,000 members, have a multi-employer healthcare plan for its members and echoed criticism from Connecticut’s insurance companies, saying the state would essentially be competing with them and not subject to the same requirements as traditional insurers … the Teamsters believe the bill undermines their multiemployer plan.

“As advocates for our union members and their families, we cannot standby and allow this negative preemptive policy to negatively impact our dedicated efforts over the years,” the Teamsters wrote. “Unfortunately, even with our non-profit, cost-effective approach, we would not be able to compete with a state-run government competitor that would then provide less benefits, less options, and less flexibility than our members currently receive.”