HARTFORD, CT—With no discussion Tuesday the Insurance and Real Estate Committee forwarded one of the most controversial bills of the session to the state Senate.
The committee voted 10-9 on a bill that allows small businesses, nonprofits, and unions to join a state-run health insurance plan. Rep. Tom Delnicki, R-South Windsor, was the only Republican to vote in favor of the bill.
The so-called public option, which is being dubbed The Connecticut Plan, has been panned by the insurance industry in the state.
The plans, according to the legislation, would be sold and underwritten through state Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s office.
Lembo maintains that creating a state-run public option will “completely change the balance sheet of these [small] businesses,” and won’t impact the insurance industry in the state.
“The Insurance and Real Estate Committee’s advancement of The Connecticut Plan recognizes that Connecticut’s workforce deserves access to the same quality care that their elected officials enjoy,” Lembo said. “Expanding quality health care access to Connecticut’s small businesses, nonprofits and their workers is the right and moral thing to do – to correct a fatal market failure and protect Connecticut’s workforce. I am so grateful for the leadership of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and all of its members who recognized – across party lines – that our workers and businesses deserve relief.”
Gov. Ned Lamont has not publicly taken a position on the bill, however, he said in a podcast recently that he wouldn’t support a public option.
Susan Halpin, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Health Plans, said the insurance industry’s position has not changed.
“Our position is the same. We don’t believe state government should be competing with one of its major economic sectors and we don’t believe the plan as outlined would be sustainable,” she said last week.