Senator Boucher’s Letter to Governor Rell Regarding Health Care Reform

March 23, 2010

Dear Governor Rell:

I believe it is crucial that our state identify the ramifications of the new healthcare legislation on the state of Connecticut, given the passage of the reform bill by the United States House of Representatives, and the pending vote by the United States Senate. There have been too many substantial questions raised regarding the constitutionality of mandating the purchase of health care insurance by Connecticut residents to ignore. I applaud you for calling for a “rapid review” of this legislation in an effort to analyze the effects of this new sweeping and far reaching federal mandate.

Ever since this issue was raised by the United States Congress, I have received nearly two thousand opinions regarding health care reform. The enormous cost and adverse impact it would have on our current health care system are the two most cited reasons that the majority of the constituents who have contacted me oppose this legislation. Simply put, people feel that this bill intrudes on personal and state decision making, and may have the real potential of reducing health care quality, which may ultimately lead to the rationing of services, especially for seniors. Countries that have gone down this path have had to raise taxes to as much as seventy percent.

In the state of Connecticut, 91% of residents have health insurance coverage and for years our state government has been trying to bring that number to 100%. The creation of the Charter Oak Health Plan now provides health insurance to thousands of residents who would otherwise fall through the cracks, which now brings us closer to that goal. You should be commended for your foresight in addressing the needs of the uninsured on a state level. In addition, last year the General Assembly has passed Sustinet, a program facilitating universal health care reform. Connecticut must be allowed to pursue health care reform through channels that we have already created and not defer to the federal government.

Removing the regulatory authority over the medical insurance industry from Connecticut will further erode our job market and Connecticut‘s economic recovery. We should listen to the many residents of Connecticut who have called us to action and challenge this legislation. I respectfully request that you ask Attorney General Blumenthal, chief civil legal officer of the State, to challenge the power of the federal government to mandate Connecticut residents to purchase health insurance. Already 13 Attorney Generals are suing the federal government to stop the health care legislation, on the grounds that this legislation is unconstitutional.

I thank you for your consideration, and again urge you to prevail upon Attorney General Blumenthal to challenge the federal health care legislation.


Toni Boucher