Senator Kane Urges State Attorney General To Fight To Ensure Connecticut Is Treated Fairly In Federal Healthcare Reform Legislation

January 11, 2010

State Senator Rob Kane (R-32) joined several other Republican State Senators in formally asking State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to fight a provision in the pending federal healthcare reform legislation that would provide a financial benefit to other states at the expense of Connecticut taxpayers.

“It is simply wrong and unfair to let Nebraska have $100 million in Medicaid exemptions in return for their Senator’s yes vote on the pending federal healthcare reform bill. As a matter fact, special exemptions offered to Nebraska and Louisiana at the expense of other states is most likely unconstitutional and should be vigorously opposed. State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal should be prepared to fight to protect Connecticut’s best interests if this federal healthcare reform legislation passes with special provisions for other states,” said Senator Kane.

In their letter, Senator Kane and other Republican State Senators formally urged Attorney General Blumenthal to file a lawsuit if the pending federal legislation is passed with the special provisions for other states. They note that Attorneys General from other states are considering the possibility of filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal healthcare reform bill.

“Connecticut taxpayers should not be forced to bear the financial burden of providing special favors to other states in return for “yes” votes. Governor Rell has already asked Attorney General Blumenthal to look into this matter and pursue legal action to protect Connecticut’s best interests. We believe it is important that he hear from state legislators as well,” said Senator Kane.

Senator Kane noted that Governor Rell has said that our state could receive more than $260 million annually in federal reimbursement if Connecticut received the same benefit being offered to Nebraska. If the federal bill passes and includes the Nebraska provision, Governor Rell has asked the Attorney General to pursue legal action to ensure Connecticut also receives the 100% reimbursement rate for Medicaid expenses.

“We want to make sure that everything possible is being done to ensure that Connecticut is treated fairly. Federal healthcare reform is going to have a large impact on this nation, and our state, for a very long time. It is extremely important that, at the very least, Connecticut taxpayers are spared from the burden of paying for any special favors granted to other states,” said Senator Kane.

This weekend Senator Nelson (D-Neb.) requested that the Democratic Congressional leadership extend to all states the extra Medicaid funding promised to Nebraska. Sen. Kane acknowledged this as an important step, but said the Attorney General still must be prepared to pursue legal action and protect Connecticut’s constitutional rights if the special consideration granted to Nebraska remains in the bill or becomes law.