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A key legislative committee approves Connecticut's drug price reduction plan

Hartford is home to the Connecticut State Capitol and state legislature — as well as to major U.S. insurance firms. In 2019, those insurers spent what it took to defeat Connecticut's version of a "public option" in health care, despite strong support among the state's lawmakers.
Jessica Hill
Hartford is home to the Connecticut State Capitol and state legislature.

A plan by Connecticut Democrats to reduce prescription drug prices won the approval of a key state legislative committee on Tuesday.

The General Assembly’s Human Services Committee approved the prescription drug affordability and health care expansion bill mainly along party lines.

It ties Connecticut drug prices to the national prices negotiated by Medicare under a new federal law, said state Senator Matthew Lesser of Wethersfield, who is a sponsor of the bill.

“The same prices that Medicare is going to be paying should be the same prices that everyone else pays. Certainly you can pay less than that, but we shouldn’t be paying more than those negotiated prices,” Lesser said.

“In this country we have the right and the freedom to run our companies the way we want,” said Representative Charles Ferraro of West Haven, one of the minority Republicans who is opposed to the bill. They are concerned that it is government interference in the free market.

The bill now heads to the Appropriations Committee for further action.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.