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PSN on May 8, 2008 - 8:32am
Early Tuesday morning, the Connecticut Senate joined the House and overwhelmingly adopted HB 5536, the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership.
The legislation will open up the state employee health plan to
municipalities, small businesses and non-profits. Pooling small groups
with the state employee plan, which has more than 200,000 members, will
generate significant bargaining power and enable small employers and
municipalites to negotiate better insurance rates. As we've written
previously, while more than 20 states allow similar pooling of state
and municipal workers, Connecticut would be the first to allow small
businesses to join the plan at such a large scale.
As we wrote in a op-ed published by the Connecticut Post, this pooling of public and private sector employers and employees is unprecedented and will help Connecticut, which is known as the insurance capitol of the world, to wring more affordable rates and better quality insurance coverage from the insurance industry. Advocates in Connecticut are now putting pressure on Governor Jodi Rell to sign the bill, although she has already indicated plans to veto this forward-thinking legislation.