In Connecticut, the Democrats are the ones blocking health care reform

June 29, 2021

By Sens. Kevin Kelly and Paul Formica (as it appeared in The Day)

Democrats would rather preserve a political issue than find a solution for Connecticut families. That’s what’s happening with health care in Connecticut. While a recent Day editorial focused on Washington politics (“Republicans lose on Obamacare,” June 20), in Connecticut it is Democrats who just killed meaningful health care affordability reform — again.

Year after year, it is Republicans in Connecticut who have pushed for a better way to quality, affordable care with a comprehensive plan to reduce health care costs using a “reinsurance” framework established by the Affordable Care Act and supported by Gov. Lamont — but never funded by Democrats. State Republican leaders have also pushed for a benchmarking program championed by Republican Governor Charlie Baker that has saved Massachusetts residents billions of dollars in health care costs.

Every year, it is Democrats in Connecticut who kill these affordability reforms. Another legislative session just ended with Democrats doing nothing to reduce health care costs for all people. Instead, Democrats would rather use the federal 1332 waiver to expand Medicaid coverage to one discrete group. This puts thousands of people on a government payment system. This drives up costs throughout the entire system because health care providers work at a discount under Medicaid and must make up costs elsewhere. This is a backdoor to a government-run public option and a lost opportunity to reduce costs for all people.

The Day in its editorial attacked Republicans in Washington, but if the newspaper really cared about affordable health care they would be defending Republicans in Connecticut, and calling out Democrats for once again standing in the way of more affordable and accessible quality health care for all Connecticut residents.