CT Gov. Malloy Distances Himself from Obama's Handling of Obamacare
A few days after Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he said ObamaCare was “working” in his state, he has sharply distanced himself from the White House, rebuked the Obama administration for its disastrous launch of the president’s signature legislation, and taken credit for what he views as its success in his own state.
The CT Mirror reported Wednesday that Malloy, who was a campaign surrogate for Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign, said, “I think the federal government has messed up big time. This couldn’t have been a worse rollout, except in the states that embraced what we’re trying to do. In Connecticut, we’re signing up people left and right.”
Malloy spoke hours before his state’s Insurance Commissioner, Thomas B. Leonardi, was scheduled to meet at the White House on behalf of insurance regulators.
In Connecticut, 27,000 health insurance policies have been cancelled, and most will not be saved by Obama’s abrupt announcement last week that insurance companies would now be permitted to extend policies that are “substandard,” according to Leonardi. He said that only 9,000 of these policies were cancelled because, according to ObamaCare regulations, they were “substandard.”
Touting his view that Connecticut has been successful with the law while the Obama administration has fumbled just about every step of its implementation, Malloy said, “Their communication has been abysmal.”
Rebuking Obama’s decision to let each state’s insurance department determine whether “substandard” policies can be extended into 2014, Malloy said, “They shifted their problem to me, and I don’t appreciate it.”
Malloy added he would like to see subsidies for anyone whose policy has been cancelled.
The governor boasted about what he sees as ObamaCare’s success in his own state.
“Sign up. Come to the website. Do the cost comparisons,” he invited. “Most people are going to find out they’re going to make out pretty well.”
Malloy’s exuberance about the success of ObamaCare in his own state, however, is not shared by Ellen Andrews, the executive director of the CT Health Policy Project.
In an op-ed in CT News Junkie on Thursday, Andrews contradicted Malloy’s statement that, “In Connecticut, we’re signing up people left and right.” She said that only 7,092 Connecticut residents have actually purchased insurance through the state’s exchange, Access Health CT, and 2,482 with federal premium subsidies. Another 5,224 individuals enrolled in Medicaid through the exchange.
In addition, about 55 percent of individuals who have purchased health insurance through Connecticut’s exchange are over the age of 45, a trend that suggests disaster for the health insurance reform law which requires a certain amount of young, healthy people to sign up in order to offset the costs of health care for older, sicker individuals.
Though Malloy claims people in Connecticut are going to “make out pretty well” in his state’s exchange, Andrews disagrees.
“The big problem is the cost of coverage. Many people are experiencing rate shock as they shop on the exchange,” she wrote. “Connecticut’s premiums are higher, on average, than any other state-based exchange. While many state residents will qualify for Medicaid or premium subsidies, thousands don’t and are facing the full share of premiums and other costs.”
“Very few small businesses qualify for subsidies and many are reeling at the expense,” Andrews added.
Regarding President Obama’s new “fix” to his failing law that allows “substandard” cancelled insurance plans to be reinstated, University of Connecticut School of Law associate professor John Cogan Jr. told the Hartford Courant, “I think this is really a no-win situation for everybody.” He also said the decision will create “chaos” in the market.
“Who is going to stay in the old policies?” Cogan asked. “The healthy people with the cheap policies.”