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Lamont proposes legislation to lower healthcare costs in Connecticut

Jessica Hill

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont wants to lower healthcare costs in his state. He has proposed legislation to reduce extra charges and increase competition between providers.

He wants to make sure nobody has to ration their medication to save money.

“I've heard about folks that can't afford to take the basic precautions, get that test, take the pharmaceuticals you need to keep you safe," Lamont said. "And an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And we're making a terrible mistake in this country, by forcing people to make those choices.”

State Senator Saud Anwar is the chair of the Public Health Committee. As a pulmonologist, he said he sees patients every day that can't afford their medication.

“Every single day I'm in the office, I see a patient who is not able to afford their medicines, their inhalers to help them breathe,” Anwar said. “So they actually ration their medicine, so they can survive, but not thrive.”

Lamont said his legislation will also focus on making healthcare more affordable for employers.

A coalition of business and nonprofit organizations said they supported the bill, which targets small businesses. Currently, businesses with less than 51 employees can not access the large group healthcare market, limiting healthcare options for workers.

Gian-Carla Casa is the president and CEO of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance. He said the legislation would help level the playing field between big and small businesses.

“Many smaller nonprofits are struggling financially and want to provide high-quality, more-affordable health plans for their employees,” Casa said. “This proposal could give them and their workers the same safe and regulated choices that large employers have.”

Lamont’s house bill has been referred to the Public Health Committee, and his Senate bill has been referred to the Insurance and Real Estate Committee.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.