Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

March 7, 2019

Senator Anwar Stands With Democratic Leaders in Support of the Public Option

public option

State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), on right, stands alongside Democratic leaders as Sen. Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) announces legislation for a public healthcare option in Connecticut on Thursday.

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) stood alongside Democratic Senators and Representatives at a press conference announcing support for legislation to bring a health insurance public option to Connecticut. This legislation is intended to fight against the continuing rise of health insurance costs by providing Connecticut workers and families with affordable alternatives.

House Bill 7267 and Senate Bill 134, the two bills presented at Thursday’s press conference hosted by State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), State Representative Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven), Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) and State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, would respectively create public options for healthcare in Connecticut and open access to the state employee health plan to small business employees.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, health care spending in the United States rose by almost $1 trillion from 1996 to 2015. The National Conference of State Legislatures found the average premium for family healthcare coverage increased by almost 5 percent just in 2018, averaging just below $20,000 per year. These numbers keep rising, year-over-year, leaving more of the population vulnerable to being unable to afford necessary and important treatment, and their options aren’t improving. From 2006 to 2016, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, increases in payment deductibles grew faster than wage growth itself. Without change, this trend will leave workers and families increasingly unable to afford care in coming years.

By implementing a public option, we can provide Connecticut with affordable health plans designed to help them receive treatment and turn the tide against this national trend. As a medical doctor, Sen. Anwar knows firsthand the importance of ensuring patients receive the level of care they deserve, and that their access to it isn’t defined by their financial ability.

“I am proud to stand today with Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Senator Matt Lesser, Representative Sean Scanlon, Senate President Martin Looney and Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz as we move in the right direction for the citizens of our state,” said Sen. Anwar. “Escalating healthcare costs are impacting the health of our community and our state, leaving people struggling to afford the care they need. We, both as legislators and as concerned members of our communities, need to identify solutions that will help fix these problems. The public option represents just that solution. This will add competition to the health insurance marketplace, preventing providers from rapidly increasing their costs and protecting our residents from the financial impact of those spikes. By opening the state employee health plan to small business employees, we also allow the state to enable employers to find plans that find the right balance between cost and coverage. These bills are a great opportunity to strike back against these unfair, untenable trends and provide Connecticut with better healthcare.”