State of Connecticut
Seal of the  State of Connecticut, Office of the State Comptroller

News From:

COMPTROLLER KEVIN LEMBO

Contact : Tara Downes WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011
860-702-3308
tara.downes@po.state.ct.us

COMPTROLLER LEMBO: NEW FEDERAL REPORT SHOWS
154,000 CT CITIZENS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS MAY
LOSE COVERAGE IF HEALTH REFORM REPEALED

Comptroller Kevin Lembo today announced that a new federal analysis reveals that 154,000 Connecticut residents with some type of pre-existing condition - including heart disease and cancer - would be at risk of losing health coverage without the federal Affordable Care Act.

As the state's fiscal guardian and co-chair of the state's health care reform initiative, Lembo highlighted the analysis as the state General Assembly's Public Health Committee raised the state health care reform bill today.

Meanwhile, congressional leaders in Washington, DC continued the federal health care debate this week, potentially undermining the cornerstone of state reform efforts.

Federal health care repeal could result in thousands of young adults in Connecticut being pushed off their parents' insurance; lifetime limits on what health insurers will spend on 2.2 million Connecticut residents; and 130 employers, including small businesses and nonprofits, losing financial relief funding coverage for early retirees and families.

"This federal report reveals Connecticut's stake in the debate - millions of dollars and life-dependent health coverage gone," Lembo said. "Health care discrimination will be restored and health care dollars to Connecticut will be lost. Ultimately, the cost burden of treating uninsured or underinsured Connecticut citizens will fall squarely on state taxpayers. We literally cannot afford repeal of the Affordable Care Act, both financially and health wise.

"I commend the state General Assembly's Public Health Committee for moving state health care reform forward - positioning Connecticut to save hundreds of millions in state health care dollars, while increasing access to affordable and quality health care for all state residents."

The federal Affordable Care Act protects all citizens from discrimination by health insurers - including coverage denials or unfair charges - based on pre-existing conditions. Without this cornerstone of federal reform, consumers may be discriminated for suffering even the most common ailments, such as heart disease, cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and arthritis. Older Americans are at greatest risk for such discrimination.

According to the federal government's state-by-state breakdown, Connecticut alone would lose the following protections:

For more information, including a state-by-state breakdown on health care reform impacts, visit www.HealthCare.gov.

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