Friday, November 15, 2013

McKinney calls for Connecticut special session on healthcare

The following is an unedited press release from the office of state Senate Majority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, calling for a special session of the legislature:

Hartford, CT – State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) is calling on Governor Malloy to call the General Assembly into special session immediately. Legislative action is required to repeal a state law that, left unchanged, will make the health insurance policies held by tens-of-thousands of state residents illegal on January 1 (Senator McKinney’s letter is attached).


Yesterday, President Obama said the federal government will use “enforcement discretion” to allow insurance companies to continue the health insurance plans of millions of individual policy owners whose plans will be illegal on January 1 under Obamacare. The president is giving state insurance commissioners discretion to decide whether to permit the so called “fix” in their respective states. But, the problem for tens-of-thousands of Connecticut residents whose insurance policies will become illegal under Obamacare is that Connecticut state law does not give the commissioner such discretion. 


In fact, the governor and Democratic legislators passed a law in 2011 requiring all insurance products sold in Connecticut to strictly comply with the new federal law, which has not changed as a result of the president’s administrative guidance. Connecticut statutes further require the insurance commissioner to disapprove “at any time” a policy that “does not comply with the requirement of the law.” Thus, independent of “enforcement discretion” being exercised at the federal level, insurance plans sold in Connecticut that do not comply with Obamacare rules remain illegal and Connecticut’s insurance commissioner is required by law to disapprove them. The law, PA 11-58, passed 88-48 in the House of Representatives and 22-14 in the Senate on a strict party line vote.


“Governor Malloy and our Democratic legislature made an early and aggressive commitment to Obamacare and passed a law that, even in the wake of the president’s remarks, makes the insurance policies held by tens-of-thousands of Connecticut residents illegal,” said Senator McKinney. “Nothing the president said yesterday changes the Affordable Care Act, or any state law. In Connecticut, the commissioner does not have legal authority to approve health insurance policies that do not comply with the federal law. The only way to provide a safe harbor for Connecticut citizens who recently had their health care plans taken away is for the legislature to repeal the state law that makes these plans illegal.”

McKinney Letter Ltr111513

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