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Updated: October 5, 2020 2020 Power 25 — Health Care

Health Power 25: 23. Martin Looney, Sean Scanlon and Matt Lesser

Sen. Martin Looney

Call these three Democratic lawmakers the core of Connecticut’s healthcare-reform caucus, though there’s technically no such thing.

Sen. Martin Looney and Matt Lesser and Rep. Sean Scanlon stood together in early 2019, supporting the creation of a public-option health plan that would allow small businesses to buy into a state health plan in order to save money.

Sen. Matt Lesser

A few months later, the bill was dead, as Gov. Ned Lamont pulled his support amid fierce insurer opposition.

Not being able to get a bill over the finish line is common, particularly one that would cost powerful interests, but the three politicians have pursued plenty of other reforms.

Rep. Sean Scanlon

Looney, who has been in the Senate since 1993, has collaborated across the aisle over the years with GOP Sen. Len Fasano on numerous reforms, including a crackdown on out-of-network surprise billing and increased scrutiny of hospitals buying up doctor groups.

Lesser and Scanlon, elected in 2008 and 2015, respectively, co-chair the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, where they’ve sought to crack down on skyrocketing premiums charged by long-term care insurers. This year, they backed a bill that would place low monthly price caps on insulin for diabetic patients.

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