Health Care Heats Up at the Legislature

Hearings on important health care bills in the Legislature this session are happening now! Discussion about these bills will continue throughout the legislative session. Here’s some of the highlights:

  • State Budget: Governor Lamont’s budget proposal did not contain the usual list of cuts to Medicaid (HUSKY). But it did rely heavily on tax changes (expanding the base of the sales tax to services such as legal fees and accounting services, for instance). If the legislature does not adopt the proposed revenue increases, the alternative could be service cuts. The public hearing on the Department of Social Services budget, which includes Medicaid/HUSKY, is Tuesday, March 5, starting at 4:30 pm. Medicaid advocates suggest testifying or submitting testimony describing how important Medicaid is and urging that the legislature adopt the Governor’s proposals to preserve Medicaid in Connecticut.

  • Prescription Drug Prices: HB 7174 would create a drug discount program for individuals that would allow them to purchase drugs at the prices negotiated by the state employee health plan and allow municipalities and self-insured companies to purchase drugs for their employees at this negotiated price. The bill would also study drug reimportation and address drug costs in other ways. Hearing on this bill is Thursday, February 28 at 11:00 am. Fact sheet here.

  • High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP): SB 902 proposes various steps to regulate high deductible health plans. Hearing on this bill is Thursday, February 28 at 11:00 am. Fact sheet here.

  • Public Health Care Option: Details of this bill are still being developed. Hearing is likely to be Thursday, March 7 with a press conference in the morning before the hearing. Bill will likely address options for small businesses, individuals buying on the private market and immigrants. More details as they become available.

Details on how to testify or submit written testimony available here or in the CT General Assembly Bulletin at www.cga.ct.gov.

Jane McNichol