Bipartisan Support to Make Health Care Affordable, But Strong Opposition to Public Option

January 21, 2020

Kelly, Fasano Statement re: Senate Democrat Health Care Proposals


HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford), ranking member of the Insurance Committee, responded to a press conference held today by Senate Democrats regarding various legislative proposals impacting health care in Connecticut.


“Republicans and Democrats in Connecticut have a shared goal to make health care more affordable and accessible to all people and I thank the Senate Democrats for sharing these proposals,” said Sen. Kelly. “While Democrats in Washington never properly funded a flawed Affordable Care Act design, and therefore failed to live up to its promises, Connecticut can and should do all we can to fulfill the affordable health care promises our residents deserve. For many months I’ve been working with a group of bipartisan lawmakers, the governor’s office and the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy to explore ways to reduce the cost of health care and increase quality and accessibility, including adopting a state funded reinsurance program, adopting benchmarking policies similar to Massachusetts and reducing the cost of prescription drugs. There is broad agreement on these issues amongst Republicans and Democrats and I anticipate bipartisan action this year,” said Kelly.


Sen. Kelly did raise concerns about the public option proposal mentioned at the Democrat press conference, but which lacked details.


“I have serious concerns about creating a taxpayer backed public option. It could put Connecticut on a path toward doing away with private insurance, destroying the state’s health insurance industry and putting thousands of workers at risk of losing their jobs,” said Sen. Kelly. “Connecticut’s current public option, Medicaid, is not the gold standard we should be pushing everyone toward. At our bipartisan meetings on health care that began after last session we have not focused on a public option.”


Sen. Fasano added: “Historically, health care has not been a partisan issue in Connecticut – and it shouldn’t be. Connecticut’s bipartisan health care reforms have made our state a national leader in addressing problems like surprise billing and high prescription drug costs. But one-sided proposals like a public option that are formulated without all voices and ideas at the table have never proven successful for our state. A public option could move our state closer to substandard coverage. It also could threaten thousands of middle-class jobs in the insurance industry right here in Connecticut,” said Sen. Fasano.