Washington — The entire Connecticut House delegation — except for U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District — praised U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill Friday for putting a temporary stop to UnitedHealthcare’s intent to drop 2,200 doctors from its Medicare Advantage plan. The UnitedHealthcare proposal would affect tens of thousands of older Connecticut residents who would lose their doctors.
“They have repeatedly claimed that they were forced to cut doctors because of the Affordable Care Act. Given United Healthcare is the only insurer engaged in a full-blown dismantling of their Medicare Advantage provider network, we find that hard to believe. They need to put the needs of their patients first,” the news release signed by four Connecticut House members said.
Larson could not be reached Friday, and his office had no immediate comment.
Larson joined the delegation in a letter to Jack Larsen, UnitedHealthcare Group’s CEO of Medicare and Retirement, asking that the company scrap the plan to drop doctors.
He also signed a delegation letter asking the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to be more flexible with enrollment periods for UnitedHealthcare enrollees. The enrollment period ends Dec. 7.
But those letters fell short of the news release’s harsh criticism of UnitedHealthcare. Although Hartford may no longer be the “Insurance Capitol of the World,” Larson’s 1st District includes many insurers, and Hartford is the site of a large UnitedHealthcare regional office.
And the insurance industry is Larson’s largest source of campaign cash. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Larson’s campaigns have received more than $1.1 million from the industry since he was first elected in 1998.