Public option is out but key provisions remain in HB 7267

This legislative session, we joined efforts with allies, advocates and activists to expand access to quality, affordable health care for more state residents.

The Public Option bill, HB 7267, was designed to help small businesses and individuals who purchase their own health care coverage. It’s key champions, Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Senator Matt Lesser and Rep. Sean Scanlon designed the bill to address the needs of those left behind in the current health care market.

We welcomed the news on May 23 that an expanded version of the bill, renamed the CT Option, had the support of Governor Lamont, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz and President of the Senate Marty Looney – along with advocates such as AARP.

After a broadside by the insurance industry, legislators pulled the CT Option language (that would offer new, quality choices for health plans with a goal of 20% cost reduction) from the bill on May 29.

Once again, insurance company interests trumped the needs of small businesses and individuals. This is very disappointing – but not new in Connecticut’s political landscape.

Health care reforms that remain in HB 7267 are important, will help people with cost and access and are long overdue. They include:

  • Establish a program to import prescription drugs from Canada
  • Expand HUSKY A/Medicaid eligibility for low-income parents & caregivers
  • Establish a health care cost growth benchmark to control the cost of care

The legislature must act by June 5 to adopt the remaining pieces of HB 7267.

Why is this important?

A staggering 50 percent of Connecticut residents report struggling with health care affordability, according to a recent poll.

The Foundation will continue to advocate for quality, affordable health care coverage for all state residents.