WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Connecticut Leaders Voice Opposition To The State Government Option

HARTFORD, Conn. – As Connecticut lawmakers push to create a state government-controlled health insurance system, called the state government option, that would put politicians in control of families’ health care, voices throughout Connecticut are speaking up about the negative consequences and encouraging lawmakers to build on and improve what is working in health care, not start over.

William D. Moore, President and CEO, Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce:

…[T]he state government option could drive up the costs of private health care plans, destabilizing the health insurance market throughout our state, and potentially drive private health insurance companies out of Connecticut’s market completely. Consumers would have fewer plans to choose from and could eventually be forced to enroll in the state government-run health system.

David Griggs, President and CEO, MetroHartford Alliance:

While our health care system is not perfect, a state government option can cause more harm than good — including harm to affordable access to care, our economy, and our residents’ health. Rather than a one-size-fits-all plan designed by the state government, policymakers should leverage the insurance sector’s industry-leading expertise located right here in Hartford to craft meaningful solutions that enhance, not threaten, our state’s health insurance system and the thousands of family-sustaining jobs associated with the industry.

Lynn Ward, President and CEO, Waterbury Regional Chamber:

The stated goal of the proposal is to make health-care coverage more affordable, but in reality, a new state-run, government-controlled health insurance system would do quite the opposite. It could raise the cost of health care even more, while potentially undermining the private coverage market and threatening nearly 25,000 Connecticut jobs related to our state’s insurance industry.

… It’s clear that a public option is not the answer. Hardworking employees and Connecticut residents can’t afford to pay for costly, unproven health-care solutions. Our state’s families and small business owners should not be held responsible for subsidizing risky plans, particularly during this time of economic instability.

Mike Licamele, Small Business Owner:

Pushing through highly partisan proposals is not how our lawmakers should be governing, particularly when it comes to something as important as healthcare. If we are going to truly address the needs of all Connecticut residents, then we will need thoughtful policies crafted by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Not only does this proposed new government-controlled health insurance system fail in that regard, but it would end up costing hardworking Connecticut residents, families, and small businesses more in the way of higher taxes while failing to improve healthcare overall.

…As much as I support strengthening and improving healthcare, I do not believe SB 842 is the way to do that.