Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, during his filibuster on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Mark Pazniokas /

The Insurance and Real Estate Committee hit a roadblock Tuesday when Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, spent several hours questioning Committee Co-Chair Rep. Kerry Wood, D-Rocky Hill, over House Bill 6710, which would allow trade associations to offer large group health plans to their members.

The bill would make available a new, potentially more affordable insurance option for small businesses and nonprofits, and it has bipartisan support. But the legislation has met with strong opposition from patient advocates concerned that such plans could destabilize the insurance market and may discriminate against people with illness or injuries.

Lesser ultimately wrapped up his questions after he said he spoke offline to Gov. Ned Lamont’s staff, who offered to “mediate” over concerns he’d raised. The committee passed the bill (Lesser voted “no”); it now proceeds to the House.

[READ MORE: CT legislature considers trade association health plans]

Erica covers economic development for CT Mirror. Before moving to Connecticut to join the staff she worked in Los Angeles for public radio’s Marketplace and, before that, for the Wall Street Journal's L.A. bureau. She grew up in Minneapolis, MN, graduated from Haverford College and earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.