Gov. Malloy Urges General Assembly to Adopt Legislation Ensuring the Most Vital Aspects of the Affordable Care Act Remain Protected in Connecticut
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today urged lawmakers to adopt legislation he introduced that will protect the most vital aspects of the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut, even as their federal counterparts in Washington, DC work to dismantle the system that has helped millions gain access to affordable care.
In written testimony that he submitted to the General Assembly’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, which held a public hearing today on the legislation, the Governor told legislators that Connecticut’s rich history of pursuing fairness for its residents should continue by ensuring stability in the marketplace and containing premium costs for consumers.
“The Affordable Care Act made healthcare more economical and accessible for millions of Americans by acknowledging that healthcare is a basic human right that should never be out of reach for anyone,” the Governor wrote. “This proposal seeks to ensure the most vital aspects of the ACA remain protected in Connecticut, even while these protections are dismantled in Washington, DC.”
**To read Governor Malloy’s full written testimony, click here**
Governor Malloy’s bill – House Bill 5039, An Act Protecting Health Care Fairness and Affordability – seeks to enshrine several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut state statute and reduce costs for consumers. The legislation:
- Prohibits cost-sharing for women’s reproductive health care, including birth control, ensuring that these vital preventative services remain in reach for all women;
- Allows state discretion to provide funding to Planned Parenthood should federal Medicaid rules be altered to prohibit the use of Medicaid funding for the organization, eliminating any concern about the often lengthy wait for General Assembly approval;
- Keeps residents insured and thus, keeps health care costs down by instituting a shared responsibility fee if an individual does not carry insurance minimum essential health insurance coverage per the Affordable Care Act.
The proposal also recognizes that affordability is a significant barrier to accessing health insurance, and so it seeks to lower healthcare costs through the following provisions:
- Amends state statue to create enhanced protections and notices for consumers when in receipt of “surprise bills” or “balance bills” from physicians and facilities, whether those services were in or out of network. Additionally, in the event of a balance or surprise bill, the provider or facility is required to work directly with the insured’s carrier, keeping the consumer out of the middle.
- Implements a standardized mandate review process by a joint standing committee of the General Assembly to ensure policy makers have all the information necessary to verify that new health care mandates are truly beneficial for the consumer.