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February 1, 2021

Lembo: Polling shows strong support for public health insurance option in CT

Photo | Contributed Bloomfield-based Cigna placed at No. 15 on the most recent Fortune 500 list.

A “public option” for health insurance is widely popular with Connecticut residents and small business owners, Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced Monday, presenting the results of a statewide poll. 

ALG Research, which conducted the poll, found that 70% of voters overall supported a public health insurance option, including 72% of small business owners. Those supporting a state-sponsored option said that such a plan would benefit their own health in addition to the state’s economy. 

“The public health emergency brought on by the pandemic has worsened long-standing issues of access, affordability and equity, emphasizing the  critical need to correct them,” Lembo said. 
“Small business owners especially need our help and, the data shows, are strongly in support of creating new options in the marketplace. I hope the poll adds context.” 

Broken down by party affiliation, 71% of Democrats supported a public option versus 
58% of Republicans.

Only 10% of voters overall said they liked the current healthcare system as it is, with 16% of Republicans, 8% of small business owners and 7% of Hartford residents approving of the status quo.

“There is an urgent need to act and I hope the results of this polling encourage legislators to take action that meets this moment of crisis,” Lembo said Monday. 

A total of 501 residents were surveyed both online and by phone in mid-December to obtain the results, including 100 small business owners. The results were weighted to reflect the demographics of registered voters in Connecticut. United States of Care, a nonprofit advocacy group, paid for the survey.

A proposal to set up a public-option health plan was shelved in 2019, reportedly after threats from Bloomfield-based Cigna to move out of the state if it was approved.

Cigna spokesman Brian Henry said at the time that the proposal “threatens the long-term viability and vitality of the state.”

Shortly after the recent November election, state Democratic leaders announced that a key goal of the 2021 legislative session would be passing a public-option health insurance plan.

The proposal faces opposition from the Connecticut Business & Industry Association and health insurance industry. 

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February 5, 2021

Henry Ford figured out that if you raise the standing of the consumer by providing them basics in life, you raise the pool of consumers buying your products. Yes, the population needs health care coverage, and yes it will benefit the economy overall.

February 3, 2021

Count me as a supporter! It’s good for residents and good for business!

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