November 1 is the day that many Connecticut residents began to start shopping for health insurance plans and that open enrollment period is a good time to think about how we approach healthcare policy in our state.
Gov. Ned Lamont deserves credit for maintaining his commitment to protecting taxpayers and Connecticut jobs by working to improve our healthcare system without creating a full government-controlled health insurance system, commonly called the public option.
As the governor noted in a recent response to questions on health care from the CT Mirror, misguided government intervention would be a “Band Aid” approach and instead, policymakers should focus on working together with the private sector to address “underlying costs of health care.”
In my work in the health insurance field, I assist businesses in Connecticut better understand their health insurance options and provide them with advice about how to best provide coverage for their employees and their families. The top priority for our state should always be to have a competitive insurance market for all businesses in order for employers to offer affordable coverage to their employees.
The governor has also recognized that a state government public option could lead to massive tax increases. “There’s something called the public option,” the governor said at an October 12 candidate breakfast with the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association in Hartford. “That lets the taxpayers backstop the health care costs. I don’t like that because I don’t think that’s the solution to the underlying system.”
The Connecticut economy supports over 25,000 healthcare and insurance jobs in our communities that could be at risk if such a system were ever adopted. In fact, a study from KNG Health published earlier this year found a state government public option could result in a $1.152 billion tax hike on hardworking Connecticut families and small businesses.
The small businesses and employers that I work with across the state appreciate a balanced approach to healthcare policy by government. We will want affordable, quality healthcare for all Connecticut residents and rejecting having the state government step in and run the healthcare system would be a bad approach that would lead to tax increases, reduced access to care and less individual decision making and control.
Connecticut health insurers support 25,000 jobs in our communities that could be at risk under such a system. A study from KNG Health published earlier this year found a state government public option could result in a $1.152 billion tax hike on hardworking Connecticut families and small businesses.
Julie Chubet of Southington is a licensed Health Broker with Rogers Benefit Group and the Immediate Past President and Director of CTAHU, the CT Association of Health Underwriters.