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The Connecticut Republican plan for affordable health insurance

For middle class Connecticut families, health insurance is anything but affordable. In fact, premiums are often the size of a monthly mortgage payment. Those lofty bills weigh down family budgets and eat into savings, leaving Connecticut's middle class struggling to make ends meet.

Connecticut Senate Republicans are working to ease burdens on middle class families, and we are offering thoughtful, comprehensive solutions to this unaffordability problem:

1. Our plan would reduce health insurance premiums by up to 20%.

2. We set up a process to reduce all health-care costs by better management of the growing costs of health care. We accomplish that by using best practices from Massachusetts, practices which have already saved people in the Bay State billions of dollars. The governor agrees with our idea: He has begun implementing it with an executive order, because Democrat legislators refused to advance it in the legislature.

3. We would reduce prescription drug costs by establishing a framework to reimport drugs from Canada.

4. Last year, we proposed legislation to investigate disparities in the health system so we can deliver on health equity for all people no matter gender, race or background. We have proposed it again this year.

5. We would require audits of the “Cadillac” health plans offered by the state which are backstopped by the Connecticut taxpayer.

Sound appealing? It gets even better.

Connecticut Senate Republicans can accomplish this without raising taxes on middle-class families, and our ideas will not threaten the tens of thousands of quality private sector insurance jobs in our state.

Our Senate Republican ideas focus on a core issue in our state: the affordability and accessibility of health care. At the same time, we understand how important our insurance industry is to our economy. After all, we are known as the "Insurance Capital of the World," and we want Connecticut to stay that way. We are confident our vision will receive bipartisan support at the State Capitol, and we appreciate the encouraging comments we have received thus far. In fact, a 2019 report from the actuarial consulting firm Wakely agrees that our plan will best lower premiums.

By contrast, Connecticut Democrats are pushing a national partisan concept which fails to reduce health care costs while putting Connecticut in direct competition with one of our main job sources: the insurance industry.

Majority Democrats' government-run health care plan begs some crucial questions.

First, why would Connecticut Democrats put jobs in jeopardy at a time when our state is already dead last in the nation on jobs and income growth? Connecticut private sector employment fell by 1,000 jobs in December and is lower by 84,200 from a year earlier. We should be seeking ways to reverse this troubling trend, not make it worse.

Second, why do Connecticut Democrats' solutions always focus on middle-class taxpayers' wallets while seeking to grow government?

The Connecticut Senate Republican solution can make Connecticut more affordable for middle-class families while supporting good-paying jobs. It is a common sense, pro-family, pro-jobs, and pro-middle-class path.

Let's get it passed this year. The people of Connecticut need relief.

Sen. Kevin Kelly represents the 21st District of Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford; Sen. Paul Formica the 20th District of Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford; and Sen. Tony Hwang the 28th District of Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston, and Westport. All three are Republicans.

 

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